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(MENAFN - AFP) Russia is losing up to $140 billion (113 billion euros) a year because of Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict and plunging oil prices, but President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the economic damage as "not fatal".

"We are losing around $40 billion per year due to geopolitical sanctions," Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in a speech at an economic ...

(MENAFN - AFP) British telecoms giant BT said Monday it was in "preliminary" talks to buy back its former domestic mobile phone division O2 from Spanish peer Telefonica.

BT added in a statement that it had been approached by shareholders from two operators -- O2 and an unnamed group -- with a view to buying their UK mobile business.

The other operator was understood ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The French and German industrial giants Thales and Siemens said Monday they had won a contract worth more than 500 million euros to revamp safety systems on a high-speed train line in Spain.

"The order has a total value of around 510 million euros ($633 million) for the consortium," both companies said in a statement.

The two firms will modernise the ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Ghana on Monday accepted a bid from Italian oil major Eni to develop its offshore oil and gas resources, part of an effort to boost the west African nation's nascent energy sector, officials said.

Under the $6 billion deal (4.8 billion euro) "commercial production of oil and gas (is expected to start) by mid-2017 to augment the country's current production ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Britain on Monday announced it had signed a contract with US manufacturer Lockheed Martin to buy the first of 14 F-35B combat jets.

The four Lightning II stealth combat aircraft will operate from both of the Royal Navy's forthcoming new aircraft carriers and from Royal Air Force land bases, with another 10 due to be ordered over the next five years.

The ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Global oil prices firmed Monday, making a positive start in a week that will be centred on the OPEC cartel's output meeting, dealers said.

Nearing midday, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January rose four cents to $80.40 a barrel.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for January advanced 15 cents to $76.66 per barrel.

The Organization of the ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Business confidence in Germany appears to be stabilising after long months of decline, with the Ifo business climate index rising in November for the first time since April, data showed on Monday.

The closely watched barometer rose to 104.7 points in November from 103.2 points in October, the Ifo think-tank said in a statement.

"The downturn in the German ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Russia is losing around $40 billion (32 billion euros) per year due to Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict, its finance minister said Monday although President Vladimir Putin dismissed the economic damage as "not fatal".

"We are losing around $40 billion per year due to geopolitical sanctions," Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in a speech at an ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Lithuania said on Monday that Russia was refusing entry to both commercial and private cars and trucks from its territory amid heightened tension over the crisis in Ukraine.

Lithuanian "cars and trucks are virtually not allowed into Russia," Interior Minister Saulius Skvernelis told reporters after a government meeting.

The national road carriers' association ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Shares in Intesa Sanpaolo leapt Monday following a report the Italian bank is mulling a bid for Coutts, the British private bank that counts Queen Elizabeth II among its clients.

In mid-morning trading on the Milan bourse, shares in the bank were up 1.69 percent as dealers digested remarks by its chief executive, Carlo Messina indicating that he was keen to ...

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