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France/Germany spread hits two-week low

LONDON: France’s government bond yield spread over Germany hit its narrowest in two weeks after results of the Dutch parliamentary election put the populist party of Geert Wilders a distant second to the current ruling party.

Bank of Korea holds rates, lowers GDP forecast

SEOUL: South Korea's central bank kept interest rates untouched on Tuesday for a 10th straight month, and its governor stressed that the current rate level supports economic growth, although a lowered growth forecast for this year kept expectations of a rate cut alive.

India govt considers selling US$3b stake in ONGC

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government will decide next month on the sale of a US$3 billion stake in state oil firm Oil and Natural Gas Corp , in a major test of whether he can follow through on reforms outlined in his first budget.

Britain could intervene in Pfizer US$106bil bid for AstraZeneca

LONDON: Britain could use its public interest powers to intervene in U.S. drugmaker Pfizer's $106 billion (62.4 billion pounds) takeover bid for British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca AZN.L, Business Secretary Vince Cable said on Tuesday.

Southeast Asia Stocks: Mostly Firmer With Inflows M'sia up, S'pore down

BANGKOK: Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended firmer on Monday, led by Indonesian shares ahead of a parliamentary election later this week that is expected to restart stalled reforms, while a U.S. jobs report last week helped boost investor sentiment.

Hit by scandal and resignations, Turk PM names new ministers

ANKARA/ISTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan reshuffled his cabinet on Wednesday after three members quit over a corruption scandal that has posed an unprecedented challenge to his 11-year rule.

EU risks upsetting Turkey with threat to call off talks

BRUSSELS: The European Union is on the verge of scrapping a new round of membership talks with Turkey, a move that would further undermine Ankara's already slim hopes of joining the bloc anytime soon and damage its relations with Brussels.

Britain should hand RBS, Lloyds Bank shares to public

LONDON: Britain should hand most of its shares in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group to the public, an influential think tank said, in what would be the country's biggest ever privatization.

Moody’s: Malaysia's election outcome assures pro-growth policy

KUALA LUMPUR: The Barisan Nasional's retention of the federal government assures the continuation of Malaysia's pro-growth policy, says Moody's Investor Services.

Italy‘s 10-year debt costs jump

MILAN: Italy’s 10-year debt costs rose more than half a percentage point at the first longer-term auction since an inconclusive parliamentary election, although they remained below the psychologically important level of 5%.