News Wire

South African Airways should be saved, says ruling ANC

16h29 Heavily-indebted South African Airways (SAA) should be retained as a national airline but needs substantial restructuring, a top official in the governing African National Congress (ANC) party said on Wednesday.  Full story

Thailand's $105 bln budget faces further delay

16h38 Thailand's 3.2 trillion baht ($105.40 billion) budget for the current fiscal year, aimed at reviving a flagging economy, faces further delay as lawmakers seek a court ruling on the validity of the parliament vote. . .  Full story

S&P, Nasdaq hit new highs on waning China virus fears, earnings

16h37 The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit fresh all-time highs at the open on Wednesday, as investors took heart from China's efforts to contain a virus outbreak and a strong forecast from IBM.. . .  Full story

TSX opens flat ahead of central bank's interest rate decision

16h37 Canada's main stock index was little changed at open on Wednesday as investors shied away from making big bets shortly before the Bank of Canada's interest rate decision.. . .  Full story

Lower European tissue prices to squeeze Essity's profit

16h35 Leading office tissue paper supplier Essity said easing pulp prices meant it had to cut the cost of some products, hitting first-quarter earnings, after it reported a jump in fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Fiat Chrysler CEO hopes to seal Peugeot merger by early 2021

16h33 Fiat Chrysler's chief executive Michael Manley said on Wednesday merger talks with Peugeot owner PSA to create the world's No. 4 carmaker are progressing well and he hopes to have a deal sealed within 12-14. . .  Full story

C$ strengthens ahead of Bank of Canada interest rate decision

16h30 The Canadian dollar strengthened against the greenback on Wednesday ahead of a Bank of Canada interest rate decision, but some of the loonie's gains were given up after domestic data showed inflation running close. . .  Full story

Real estate developer bid $240 mln for Philadelphia oil refinery -documents

16h26 Chicago-based real estate developer Hilco Redevelopment Partners is expected to pay $240 million in its winning bid for the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery site, bankruptcy court documents showed on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Facing economic crisis, Lebanon's government weighs options

16h26 Lebanon's Hezbollah-backed government will walk a political tightrope as it moves to urgently secure foreign funding to ward off financial collapse and could look to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance.. . .  Full story

Reynolds Consumer tees up first $1 bln-plus U.S. IPO of 2020

16h24 Reynolds Consumer Products said on Tuesday it is looking to raise up to $1.32 billion in an initial public offering (IPO), potentially setting up the first $1 billion-plus U.S. listing of 2020.. . .  Full story

WeWork offloads non-core business Teem, stake in The Wing

16h22 Shared workplace operator WeWork said on Wednesday it sold cloud and analytics services provider Teem to digital workplace solutions provider iOFFICE, as it offloads non-core businesses after a botched initial public offering last year.. . .  Full story

Mumbai bets on all-night shopping to lift India's economy

16h22 Residents of Mumbai will be able to shop and dine out until dawn from late this month as the Indian city plans to lift restrictions on retail trading hours in order to boost the. . .  Full story

Investor group to buy financial services firm Duff & Phelps for $4.2 bln

16h19 A global group of investors led by Stone Point Capital and Further Global will buy financial services firm Duff & Phelps for $4.2 billion, the companies said on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Belgian regulator opens insider trading probe into Belgian biotech CEO

16h11 Belgium's financial services and markets authority (FSMA) said on Wednesday it had opened an investigation into suspected insider trading against the chief executive of Mithra Pharmaceuticals.. . .  Full story

Stocks shake off China virus worries, dollar stays strong

16h09 World stock markets regained strength on Wednesday, as swift updates from China about the spread of a new flu-like coronavirus raised hopes the outbreak would be contained.. . .  Full story

Wall Street pegs Boeing's 737 MAX bill at more than $25 bln

16h04 Boeing Co's bill for the 737 MAX grounding could balloon to more than $25 billion, analysts estimated on Wednesday, a day after the U.S. planemaker warned of further delay in returning its once best-selling. . .  Full story

Warren calls on big U.S. banks to disclose preparation for climate risk

16h00 U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a contender for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, is asking the biggest U.S. banks for details on their assessments of and preparations for risks related to global warming.. . .  Full story

Indonesia's Bumi eyes $1 bln-plus coal gasification plant amid debt settlement

15h58 Indonesia's PT Bumi Resources is looking into building a coal gasification plant potentially worth more than $1 billion, a director said on Wednesday, noting such a move would support Indonesian plans to reduce its reliance. . .  Full story

Hong Kong's Lam says city vigilant over coronavirus

15h48 Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Wednesday that the government had been very vigilant over the coronavirus, adding that the rapid flow of people across the border made the city highly vulnerable to. . .  Full story

FACTBOX-WHO expert panel to decide whether new virus an emergency

15h37 A World Health Organisation panel of experts on the new coronavirus met on Wednesday to evaluate whether the outbreak, which has spread from China to several countries, constitutes an international emergency.. . .  Full story

-DAVOS - Trump, WTO chief to discuss changes to trade arbiter

15h35 U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed dramatic action with the World Trade Organization, saying the group's director general would visit Washington as soon as next week, but giving no other details.. . .  Full story

Acciona bids for project to widen railway link to Slovenia’s deepwater port

15h34 Spanish renewables and infrastructure firm Acciona has launched a joint bid for a hotly contested 1.2 billion euro ($1.33 billion) project to widen a key Slovenian railway link to its only deepwater port, a company. . .  Full story

Gold holds steady on central bank policy expectations

15h30 Gold prices were little changed on Wednesday as technical support on expected dovish monetary policy from central banks offset revived appetite for riskier assets and an upbeat dollar.. . .  Full story

Copper touches two-week low as virus death toll rises in China

15h27 Copper prices fell to a two-week low on Wednesday as the rising death toll from the Wuhan virus outbreak deepened concerns over potential damage to economic growth and metals demand.. . .  Full story

Oil falls as surplus forecast overshadows Libya disruption

15h26 Oil prices fell on Wednesday as a market surplus forecast by the International Energy Agency (IEA) outweighed concern over disruptions to Libya's crude output.. . .  Full story

Insurer Marsh sees demand spike for political violence cover in the Gulf

15h24 Marsh, one of the world's largest insurance brokers and risk advisers, has seen a spike in clients' enquiries for political violence cover in the Gulf after attacks on tankers and oil installations rattled the region. . .  Full story

Baker Hughes profit misses estimates as LNG equipment demand wanes

15h24 Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Co missed analysts' estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, hit by lower orders in its business that supplies turbines and compressors to liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers.. . .  Full story

Germany says swine fever case found just 12 km from its border

15h22 A case of the pig disease African swine fever (ASF) has been discovered in a wild boar in Poland just 12 kilometres (7.4 miles) from the German border, Germany’s agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Airbus hits record highs, 737 MAX buyers fall on latest Boeing news

15h18 Airbus' shares hit record highs on Wednesday, after U.S. arch rival Boeing warned of further delay in returning its grounded 737 MAX airliner to service, while Boeing customers and suppliers fell on the news.. . .  Full story

Sri Lanka shares extend gains on consumer, financials stocks

15h10 Sri Lankan shares rose for the second straight session on Wednesday, driven by gains in consumer and financial stocks.. . .  Full story

WHO international public health emergencies

15h09 World Health Organisation (WHO) experts met on Wednesday to evaluate whether the new coronavirus outbreak constitutes an international emergency.. . .  Full story

Wheat hits new 1-1/2 year high, soybeans steady post 1-month low

15h08 Chicago and Paris wheat futures extended a rally on Wednesday to set new 1-1/2 year highs as strong export demand, tightening global supplies and technical momentum supported prices. Chicago soybeans were. . .  Full story

Daimler profits halve on diesel and restructuring charges

15h08 Daimler warned its earnings halved in 2019 and it faced further charges of up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion)related to diesel pollution, in the latest blow to the German luxury carmaker.. . .  Full story

Lebanon finance minister: impossible for exchange rate to return to what it was - LBC

15h04 Lebanon's new Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni told local media on Wednesday it would be "impossible" for the Lebanese pound exchange rate to the U.S. dollar "to return to what it was".. . .  Full story

DAVOS-Trump says he would have loved to have seen Greta Thunberg speak

14h58 U.S. President Donald Trump said he doesn't think climate change is a hoax and would have loved to have seen Greta Thunberg speak while he was at Davos.. . .  Full story

Eurazeo hires banks for $2.2 bln sale of payments firm Planet -sources

14h51 European buyout fund Eurazeo has hired Citigroup and Evercore to prepare the sale of its payments business Planet in a deal that could value the Irish firm at up to 2 billion euros ($2.22 billion),. . .  Full story

South African miner Samancor Chrome says may cut nearly 2,500 jobs

14h50 South African miner Samancor Chrome said it could cut close 2,500 jobs in response to weak chrome prices and power supply problems, according to a letter to unions seen by Reuters on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Key facts about Wuhan, epicentre of China's virus outbreak

14h47 Here are key facts about China's central city of Wuhan, home to more than 11 million people, which has emerged as the epicentre of a new virus outbreak that has infected 440 people and. . .  Full story

UK factories' optimism highest since 2014 but activity weak - CBI

14h44 Optimism in British factories hit its highest in almost six years in the three months to January, according to a survey that added to signs of a post-election boost, prompting investors to trim bets. . .  Full story

Sterling gains further as BoE rate-cut fears recede

14h42 Britain's pound rose on Wednesday against the dollar and the euro, as investors debated whether or not the Bank of England would cut interest rates when it meets next week.. . .  Full story

-Italy seizes 9.5 tonnes of Chinese pork to prevent African swine fever contagion

14h37 Italy's tax police seized and destroyed 9.5 tonnes of pork from China which was banned by the Health Ministry after African swine fever broke out in the Asian country, police in the northeastern city. . .  Full story

Singapore starts screening all China flights, warns against Wuhan travel to deter coronavirus

14h34 Singapore on Wednesday started screening all passengers arriving on flights from China to avoid transmission of the flu-like coronavirus, and advised travellers against non-essential travel to Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicentre of the. . .  Full story

First Abu Dhabi Bank in talks to buy Egyptian unit of Lebanon's Bank Audi - sources

14h33 United Arab Emirates'(UAE) largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) is in talks to potentially acquire the Egyptian subsidiary of Lebanon's Bank Audi, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.. . .  Full story

Credit Suisse says Mozambique liable for $622 mln loan at heart of bribery scandal

14h18 Credit Suisse has hit back against Mozambique in a case in Britain's High Court, arguing a government guarantee for a $622 million loan - part of a $2 billion debt scandal. . .  Full story

Sainsbury's turns to retail boss as CEO checks out

14h13 Sainsbury's has picked retail and operations director Simon Roberts to succeed CEO Mike Coupe, the architect of the British supermarket group's failed bid for rival Asda who will step down in May after six. . .  Full story

Trump says he would prefer longer impeachment trial with witnesses

14h07 U.S. President Trump on Wednesday said it was up to the Senate to decide how to handle the impeachment trial over his handling of Ukraine and that he would rather have a long trial. . .  Full story

China companies issue staff with masks, travel warnings as virus outbreak fears grow

14h06 Companies across China are handing out masks and warning staff to avoid the central city of Wuhan amid fears that the new flu-like coronavirus will rapidly spread with much of population embarking on travel for. . .  Full story

Developments in online-only bank licensing in Asia

14h05 Financial regulators across Asia are creating new rules for online-only banks as they seek to shake up often staid markets, helped by technology companies, which can operate at lower costs without needing physical branches.. . .  Full story

UK investors reduce bets on BoE rate cut after CBI data

14h04 Financial markets saw a lower chance on Wednesday that the Bank of England will cut interest rates next week, after the Confederation of British Industry reported a pick-up in manufacturers' sentiment.. . .  Full story

African unicorn Jumia looks to services, platforms to halt slide

14h00 E-commerce unicorn Jumia Technologies, which last year became Africa's first tech firm to list in New York, will focus on proving it can turn a profit after a bruising 2019, one. . .  Full story

Insurers look to curb ransomware exposure as U.S. cyber rates rise

14h00 U.S. insurers are ramping up cyber-insurance rates by as much as 25% and trying to curb exposure to vulnerable customers after a surge of costly claims, industry sources said.. . .  Full story

With record profits on Wall Street, small bonuses will annoy bankers -experts

14h00 Most Wall Street banks announced their fourth quarter profits beat industry expectations last week. But by the end of this week, bank sources and compensation experts told Reuters, most of their staff will be underwhelmed. . .  Full story

BP's Looney goes all-in on climate goals and explores overhaul

14h00 Change is afoot at BP. Incoming Chief Executive Bernard Looney plans to expand the company's climate targets and is considering overhauling the structure of the oil and gas major in one of the biggest. . .  Full story

Trump says he expects to make trade deal with Europe

13h55 U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he expects to be able to make a trade deal with Europe, but that negotiating an agreement is in many ways tougher than the trade pact he. . .  Full story

Hungarian banks renew call for tax easing as instant payment launch nears

13h51 Hungarian banks say they have spent up to $133 million on a new instant-payments system and won't pass on the cost to customers, but are seeking to recoup part of it by asking the. . .  Full story

Lebanon should restructure Eurobonds, seek IMF help - ex-minister

13h48 Lebanon should restructure its Eurobonds, including a $1.2 billion issue maturing in March, and secure a multi-billion dollar IMF bailout to stave off economic meltdown, its former labour minister said.. . .  Full story

Trump threatens big tariffs on car imports from EU if no trade deal struck-CNBC

13h45 U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to impose high tariffs on imports of cars from the European Union if the bloc doesn't agree to a trade deal.. . .  Full story

Tax avoidance, evasion costs EU 170 billion euros a year, says Poland

13h34 European Union member states lose 170 billion euros ($188.38 billion) a year due to tax avoidance and evasion, a Polish state think-tank said in a report due to be discussed later on Wednesday at. . .  Full story

Burberry weathers Hong Kong slump by selling more in mainland China

13h34 Luxury fashion label Burberry upgraded its full-year sales forecast on Wednesday as demand for Riccardo Tisci's new collections in Europe and mainland China offset a slump in Hong Kong.. . .  Full story

Asset manager CQS says chief executive Rolet to step down

13h21 London-based asset manager CQS, founded by billionaire investor Michael Hintze, said on Wednesday that Xavier Rolet is to step down as chief executive in February and take up a position as strategic adviser.. . .  Full story

Grab, Razer, AirAsia exploring bids for Malaysia digital bank licence -sources

13h16 Ride-hailing group Grab, gaming firm Razer, AirAsia, telecoms firm Axiata and lender CIMB are among companies looking to apply for digital banking licences in Malaysia, sources told Reuters.. . .  Full story

Investors look for insurance as U.S. bull market runs - BNP fund manager

13h13 Asian investors with money in the U.S. equities market are unwilling to cash out their bets just yet - but some are beginning to buy insurance against a correction, according to a quant fund. . .  Full story

As Britain decides, Europe grapples with Huawei conundrum

13h07 Britain's impending decision on whether to allow Huawei to supply equipment for 5G mobile networks comes at a delicate time, with debate raging in European capitals over the security implications of reliance on Chinese technology.. . .  Full story

OTP in talks to buy Garanti BBVA's Romanian unit - media

13h07 Hungary's OTP Bank is in talks to buy Garanti BBVA's Romanian unit, Romanian online financial news outlet Profit.ro said, citing banking market sources.. . .  Full story

U.S. election no hard deadline for next China trade talks - Mnuchin

13h07 The United States has no hard deadline to conclude the next phase of trade talks with China, but tariffs would not be cut until the next round, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.. . .  Full story

Asia Distillates-Weak demand, ample supply push gasoil cracks to over 2-1/2 year low

13h03 Asian refining margins for 10 ppm gasoil plunged on Wednesday to their weakest since mid-2017, while cash premiums for the transportation fuel lingered near their lowest levels in over a month.. . .  Full story

Italy bond yields rise on report 5-Star leader quitting, but selloff contained

13h01 Italy's bond yields rose on Wednesday, widening the gap over safer German peers, on reports that Luigi Di Maio will step down as the 5-Star movement's leader, but sentiment stabilised as an imminent collapse. . .  Full story

EU banking watchdog proposes `less prescriptive' stress test

13h00 Stress testing of banks in the European Union to check their ability to withstand market shocks without taxpayer help should be eased to cut bank costs, the EU's banking regulator proposed on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Canadian prosecutor set to defend U.S. request to extradite Huawei CFO Meng

13h00 Canadian prosecutors are expected to defend on Wednesday their case to extradite Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to the United States saying Meng was arrested on charges of bank fraud, which is a. . .  Full story

Swiss franc falls as cbank intervention talk outweighs virus worries

12h58 The Swiss franc fell on Wednesday on signs the central bank may be intervening to stop it rising further, outweighing the impact of concerns about the spread of a new coronavirus that have driven. . .  Full story

ASML sees no financial impact from delay to Chinese order for EUV machine

12h54 The chief executive of semiconductor equipment supplier ASML on Wednesday said the company has received an order for one of its most advanced machines from a Chinese customer but could not deliver it because it. . .  Full story

SE Asia Stocks-Most tepid amid virus outbreak; Malaysia stumbles on c.bank warning

12h48 Most Southeast Asian markets were subdued on Wednesday ahead of a World Health Organisation meeting on a virus outbreak in China - the region's biggest trading partner, while Malaysian stocks dropped after the central. . .  Full story

Bank of America to hire 50 bankers for Asia dealmaking team in 2020 -sources

12h41 Bank of America Corp will recruit about 50 bankers for its investment banking team in Asia this year, as it pushes to bolster its dealmaking business and shore up revenues from the unit, three. . .  Full story

Turkish bank probe casts wide net over trading -sources

12h35 Turkish competition officials made surprise visits to several private, state and foreign banks late on Friday to analyse computers as they opened a wide-ranging probe of trading in the financial sector, according to three bankers.. . .  Full story

Activist investor calls on Toshiba Machine to put defence plans before shareholders

12h20 Japan's most prominent activist investor on Wednesday demanded Toshiba Machine Co hold an extraordinary shareholders meeting to discuss its plans to introduce defence measures against a hostile takeover.. . .  Full story

Desert locust invasion spares India a big hit

12h19 India has been able to bring swarms of desert locusts under control in two key oilseed producing states and authorities are now trying to assess crop damage, officials said on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Trump says middle class tax cut to be announced over next 90 days- Fox Business

12h18 U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday a tax cut for the middle class would be announced over the next 90 days.. . .  Full story

Major 737 MAX buyer Air Lease remains confident in demand for jet

12h16 Aircraft lessor Air Lease Corp , which has ordered 150 of Boeing's grounded 737 MAX, remains confident in the jet's long-term value, Chief Financial Officer Greg Willis said on Wednesday after Boeing announced a new. . .  Full story

Trump says Fed raising rates was a mistake - CNBC

12h14 The United States' economy would be growing at a pace near 4% if wasn't for the lingering effect of Federal Reserve rate hikes, President Donald Trump told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Mnuchin flags 'arbitrary' retaliation for UK digital tax

12h12 The United States would consider "arbitrary" taxes on British car firms if the UK government imposed a digital tax on big U.S. technology firms, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.. . .  Full story

Adani Power drives 21% jump in Indian utilities' coal imports in 2019

12h03 Indian utilities' coal imports jumped 21% last year, rebounding after a three-year slide mainly due to increased purchases by an Adani Power plant in western India, government data showed on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Women lose ground in German finance supervisory boards

12h00 Women's representation on supervisory boards in Germany's finance sector slipped in 2019, lagging other industries in gender balance, according to a study on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Polish industrial output misses estimates as mining weighs

11h51 Polish industrial output grew more slowly than expected in December, hampered by lower mining production as warmer weather reduced demand for coal and salt.. . .  Full story

DAVOS-BlackRock, partners eye initial $500 mln for climate fund

11h49 A BlackRock-backed group aims to raise an initial $500 million for a private equity fund that will invest in climate change-linked infrastructure upgrades in emerging markets.. . .  Full story

Berkeley's bumper 1 bln pound payout gives UK housebuilders a lift

11h40 Housebuilder Berkeley plans to more than double investor returns to 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) over the next two years while ramping up output, signalling increased confidence in the UK market and lifting its shares. . .  Full story

European shares rise on China's response to virus; German stocks hit record

11h39 European shares rose on Wednesday, boosted by a clutch of positive earnings updates and China's effort to contain a virus outbreak, with trade-sensitive German shares hitting record levels for the first time in two. . .  Full story

Stocks gain ground as China soothes worries about virus outbreak

11h34 Emerging market stocks regained footing on Wednesday after China's response to contain a virus outbreak eased fears of a global pandemic, while the South African rand treaded water after a reading on inflation.. . .  Full story

-Powered by SUVs, Hyundai turns in best quarter since early 2017

11h32 Hyundai Motor Co turned in its best quarterly operating profit in over two years and said it was on track for higher profit margins in 2020, powered by more sales of sport-utility vehicles (SUVs). . .  Full story

Cathay says crew can wear masks on all flights due to new coronavirus

11h31 Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd will allow all crew members and frontline employees to wear surgical masks due to concerns over a new coronavirus, and said passengers to and from Wuhan, China, could. . .  Full story

Housebuilders lead FTSE 100 bounce as China virus fears ease

11h31 London's FTSE 100 rebounded from its worst day in two weeks on Wednesday, as housebuilders gained after Berkeley increased planned shareholder returns and promised to ramp up deliveries, and worries over the spread of. . .  Full story

Brazil to start discussions on joining OPEC in July -energy minister

11h22 Brazil will start discussions on joining the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries during a visit to Saudi Arabia in July, its energy minister Bento Albuquerque said on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

New blow for Ted Baker as accounting scandal doubles in size

11h16 An accounting scandal at Ted Baker is more than twice as big as initially estimated, the British fashion retailer said on Wednesday, adding to a stream of bad news over the past year and. . .  Full story

French fund HLD Europe in talks to buy control of Exxelia

11h13 French investment fund HLD Europe has entered into exclusive negotiations with London-based IK Investment Partners to buy a majority stake in Exxelia, a manufacturer of components in the space and defence industries, the companies said. . .  Full story

Alstom shares rise on report of potential rail deal with Bombardier

11h05 Shares in French train manufacturer maker Alstom jumped 2% on Wednesday, hitting their highest in almost two years, after a report of a potential approach by its Canadian peer Bombardier to combine the firm's rail. . .  Full story

Asian gasoil margins at lowest since mid-2017, new fuel rules yet to bite

11h02 Steady supply and a lack of buying interest have pushed Asian refining margins for gasoil to their lowest in more than 2-1/2 years, and an expected demand boost following a switch to cleaner. . .  Full story

Malaysia's c.bank cuts rates in surprise move, warns risks remain

10h58 Malaysia's central bank surprised markets by cutting its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday, calling it a pre-emptive move to ensure the country's improving growth trend continues.. . .  Full story

China's Vital Materials emerges as mystery buyer of Fanya minor metal stocks

10h55 Vital Materials Co, the world's biggest minor metals producer, said it has bought several batches of inventory previously held by China's Fanya Metal Exchange, including around five years' global supply of indium, in online auctions.. . .  Full story

China stocks rebound, yuan steady as Beijing calms jitters over virus outbreak

10h50 The Chinese stock market reversed early losses to end higher on Wednesday, as Beijing vowed to contain a virus outbreak that has killed nine and infected 440 in the country.. . .  Full story

S.Africa's Naspers raises $1.66 bln via Prosus share sale

10h49 South Africa's Naspers Ltd said on Wednesday it sold around 1.5 billion euros ($1.66 billion) worth of shares in Prosus, the Amsterdam-listed subsidiary housing its internet empire.. . .  Full story

Sterling firms to near two-week high vs euro as rate-cut talk abates

10h48 Britain's pound rose to its strongest level against the euro in almost two weeks on Wednesday as investors debated whether or not the Bank of England will cut interest rates when it meets next. . .  Full story

Total appoints Alexis Vovk as head of marketing and services

10h40 French energy major Total has appointed Alexis Vovk as president of the group's marketing and services business segment and member of its executive committee, replacing Momar Nguer who has reached the firm's age limit,. . .  Full story

Tencent bids $148 mln for online games maker Funcom

10h32 China's Tencent Holdings launched a 1.33 billion Norwegian crown ($148 million) bid for computer games maker Funcom on Wednesday, sending the Oslo-listed firm's shares sharply higher.. . .  Full story

Japan cuts capex view on sluggish global demand but says economy recovering

10h19 Japan's government cut its assessment of capital spending in January for the first time in eight months due to softer global demand but said its overall view of the economy was unchanged from December.. . .  Full story

Hong Kong on high alert to tackle coronavirus outbreak

10h14 Hong Kong's government is on high alert to deal with a new flu-like coronavirus that has killed nine people in mainland China, the city's commerce secretary, Edward Yau, said on Wednesday.. . .  Full story