Europe

Mergers

Fear factor fades as global M&A hits seven-year high

Chief executives got their deal-making confidence back in 2014, emboldened by a clearer outlook for their businesses to take the global value for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to their highest annual level since 2007.

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Airbus

Flying back on course: the inside story of the new Airbus A350 jet

Ten years ago, the boss of Qatar Airways, who takes his first new A350 jet this week, warned Airbus it was flying off course. Boeing was knocking on his door with a "super-efficient" jet boasting 30 percent fuel savings thanks to a carbon-composite design.

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Vilnius

Russia growls across the border as Lithuania readies for euro

Geopolitics plague Lithuanians at this frozen Russian border post, where a return trip by car can mean 48 hours of queuing. It is a reminder for some of why the former Soviet republic will cement its move to the West by joining the euro zone next month.

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Union Jack Umbrellas

UK firms expect to offer a bit more pay in 2015: CBI

British companies plan to cautiously relax their grip on pay in 2015, but rises will be limited by higher costs for holiday pay and workplace pensions, as well as weak productivity growth, the Confederation of British Industry said on Monday.

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Ford

As Ford closes, European rust belt seeks new ideas

In the heart of western Europe, the Belgian-Dutch-German rust belt has been dealt another blow. Two car plants closed this month as companies sought cheaper labor elsewhere, the final chapter of a manufacturing boom that began when coal mines fuelling Europe's industrialization shut in the 1960s.

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'Shimmering' Cezanne to heat up art auction, Christie's say

A "shimmering" Paul Cezanne painting of the Mediterranean with a castle in the background is expected to attract the big-money buyers at a February auction that includes works by Modigliani, Giacometti and Picasso, Christie's said on Wednesday.

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Britain Banks

British upstart banks get IT boost to take on big rivals

When Metro Bank prepared to launch in 2010 as the first new bank to appear on British high streets for over a century, its founders broke with convention by outsourcing the construction of its computer systems.

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Luc Coene

ECB's Coene supports government bond purchases: newspaper

The European Central Bank should start buying government bonds to tackle poor investor confidence and low inflation in the euro zone, governing council member Luc Coene said in an interview published on Saturday.

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Alessandro Profumo

Capital hike, asset sales to fill gap at Monte Paschi: chairman

Italian lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena expects to complete its planned capital increase by July and can use divestments to help plug a hole in its balance sheet, Chairman Alessandro Profumo told an Austrian newspaper.

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Ferrovial

Spain's Ferrovial to raise offer for Australia's Transfield

Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial plans to raise its full takeover offer for Australia's Transfield Services Ltd, daily financial newspaper Expansion reported on Saturday, citing unnamed sources.

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CPPIB Shows Interest in Urenco Bid

Urenco owners test market for possible sale

The owners of Urenco are testing the market to gauge investor interest in the uranium enrichment company, said Uwe Beckmeyer, parliamentary state secretary in the German economy and energy ministry.

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AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca CEO says new Pfizer bid unlikely

U.S. Pfizer is unlikely to come back with a fresh bid for AstraZeneca, the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals group's top executive was quoted as saying by Swedish business daily Dagens Industri on Saturday.

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Alstom

Alstom shareholders back 12.35 billion euro sale of power arm to GE

Alstom (ALSO.PA) shareholders on Friday backed with 99.2 percent of votes the French engineering group's plan to sell most of its power equipment business to General Electric (GE.N) and refocus on its smaller rail arm.

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NYSE

European stocks set for biggest weekly gain of 2014

World markets are ending their last full week of 2014 on a high, as Wall Street made its biggest two-day advance since late 2011 and European shares headed for their strongest week of the year.

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Royal Dutch Shell

Shell sells parts of Norwegian downstream business to Finland's ST1

Oil major Shell (RDSa.L) said on Thursday it had sold parts of its Norwegian downstream business to Finnish fuel firm ST1 for an undisclosed sum, further divesting parts of its downstream activities.

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