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Showing posts from July 17, 2014

Both candidates in Indonesia election claim victory; Jokowi ahead in more counts

Both candidates claimed victory in Indonesia's presidential election on Wednesday, suggesting there could be a drawn out constitutional battle to decide who will next lead the world's third-largest democracy. Just a few hours after voting closed, Jakarta governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said he had won, based on quick counts of more than 90 percent of the votes. A victory for him would be seen as a triumph for a new breed of politician that has emerged in Southeast Asia's biggest economy, and increase the promise of desperately needed reform in government. But ex-general Prabowo Subianto, the rival candidate viewed as representative of the old guard that flourished under decades of autocratic rule, said other, unnamed, quick counts of votes favoured him. Jokowi, on other hand, named tallies by six pollsters, most regarded as reliable and independent. The included three respected, non-partisan agencies - CSIS, Kompas and Saifulmujani - which provided accurate tal

Emirates finalizes $56 billion order for 150 Boeing 777X planes

Dubai airline Emirates [EMIRA.UL] finalized a $56 billion order to buy 150 Boeing ( id="symbol_BA.N_0"> BA.N ) 777X jets on Wednesday, firming up a commitment made last year, just weeks after scrapping an order with rival planemaker Airbus ( id="symbol_AIR.PA AIR.PA ). _0"> The deal includes purchase rights for an additional 50 airplanes which, if exercised, could increase the value to about $75 billion at list prices, Boeing said in a statement. _1"> "With the order for 150 777Xs, Emirates now has 208 Boeing 777s pending delivery, creating and securing jobs across the supply chain," Emirates president Tim Clark said. The agreement comes days before the Farnborough International Airshow, traditionally an event at which billions of dollars of new plane orders are announced. It follows the surprise cancellation in June of a $16-billion order by Emirates to buy 70 of Airbus' A350 aircraft, which delivered a blow to the European planema

FTSE 100 slips to 2-month lows, Admiral slumps

Britain's top share index fell for a third straight session to a two-month low on Wednesday, with car insurer Admiral sinking after a downbeat trading update. Admiral slumped 5.3 percent, making it the top decliner on the blue-chip FTSE 100 index, after saying revenues fell in the first half of the year and there was no firm evidence of a return to growth in UK car insurance premiums. The company said it planned to launch its first ever bond of up to 200 million pounds ($340 million) to diversify its capital base and help prepare to meet Solvency II regulations in 2016. Oriel Securities repeated its "sell" rating on the stock, while Berenberg said a likely fall in margins was not reflected in current consensus earnings forecasts. "The market will be surprised that Admiral sees a need to raise debt. With the company forecasting falling margins and showing falling turnover, we believe these earnings forecasts will have to come down," Berenberg analyst Peter E

American, Southwest signal solid demand ahead of earnings

American Airlines Group Inc and Southwest Airlines Co forecast growth in an important revenue measure for the second quarter, signaling that demand for air travel is solid during the summer. Unit revenue, also known as passenger revenue per available seat mile, is expected to grow between 5.5 percent and 6.5 percent in the second quarter at American, while Southwest forecast a rise of more than 8 percent. Unit revenue is a gauge of how full planes are and of pricing power. Demand "is as strong as ever," said Bob McAdoo, an airline analyst with investment bank Imperial Capital, who said American gave a stronger-than-expected outlook and that Southwest revenue results were up "meaningfully." Recent profit warnings from European airlines such as Air France-KLM and Lufthansa had raised concern about demand trends, pummeling share prices. Last week, Delta Air Lines said unit revenue for June grew less than it had forecast, citing lower business demand for travel to

Britain's FTSE index 100 hits 2-month lows, Admiral slumps

Britain's top share index fell for a third straight session to a two-month low on Wednesday, with Admiral sinking after a downbeat trading update and Aviva slipping after outlining its turnaround targets. Car insurer Admiral slumped 3.3 percent after saying revenues fell in the first half of the year and there was no firm evidence of a return to growth in UK car insurance premiums. The company said it planned to launch its first ever bond of up to 200 million pounds ($340 million) to diversify its capital base and help prepare to meet Solvency II regulations in 2016. Oriel Securities repeated its "sell" rating on the stock, while Berenberg said a likely fall in margins was not reflected in current consensus earnings forecasts. "The market will be surprised that Admiral sees a need to raise debt. With the company forecasting falling margins and showing falling turnover, we believe these earnings forecasts will have to come down," Berenberg analyst Peter Elio

Fugitive Snowden asks to extend stay in Russia: lawyer

Former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has asked Moscow to extend his asylum in Russia, his lawyer said on Wednesday. _0"> Russia granted Snowden a one-year visa in August 2013 despite the United States wanting Moscow to send him home to face criminal charges, including espionage, for disclosing secret U.S Internet and telephone surveillance programs. "We have carried out the procedure of getting temporary asylum. It expires on July 31," Interfax news agency quoted Snowden's Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, as saying. "Correspondingly, we have filed documents to extend his stay on the territory of Russia." Kucherena could not immediately be reached for comment independently and the Russian Federal Migration Service declined comment. Another lawyer for Snowden, whose precise whereabouts are a secret, said last month he expected Russia to extend the American's asylum beyond July. President Vladimir Putin's refusal to return

Fifty-three blindfolded bodies found in Iraq as political leaders bicker

Iraqi security forces found 53 corpses, blindfolded and handcuffed, south of Baghdad on Wednesday as Shi'ite and Kurdish leaders traded accusations over an Islamist insurgency raging in the country's Sunni provinces. Officials said dozens of bodies were discovered near the mainly Shi'ite Muslim village of Khamissiya, with bullets to the chest and head, the latest mass killing since Sunni insurgents swept through northern Iraq. "Fifty-three unidentified corpses were found, all of them blindfolded and handcuffed," Sadeq Madloul, governor of the mainly Shi'ite southern province of Babil, told reporters. He said the victims appeared to have been killed overnight after being brought by car to an area near the main highway running from Baghdad to the southern provinces, about 25 km (15 miles) southeast of the city of Hilla. The identity and sectarian affiliation of the dead people was not immediately clear, he said. Sunni militants have been carrying out att

UPDATE 3-American Apparel strikes deal with largest shareholders

Struggling apparel and accessories retailer American Apparel Inc said on Wednesday it has reached a deal with hedge fund Standard General LP and founder Dov Charney to remake its board and bolster its finances. As part of the deal, American Apparel gave Standard General, three seats on its seven-member and received a $25 million loan from the shareholder, which could help it tide over a rough financial patch. The retailer said five of its board members, including Charney, would step down and Standard General would nominate three new members, while the company and the shareholder would jointly pick the other two. Co-chairmen Allan Mayer and David Danziger would continue to lead the board, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Charney was ousted from the company for alleged misuse of corporate funds and his role in disseminating nude photos of an ex-employee. He is currently under investigation and, as part of the deal, will not be allowed to

UPDATE 2-Shipping loan losses hit Norwegian bank DNB's earnings

Higher-than-expected loan losses in the shipping sector ate into DNB's second-quarter earnings, sending shares in Norway's largest bank down almost 5 percent on Thursday. Nordic banks made it through Europe's recent financial crisis relatively unscathed, but have suffered from their exposure to countries in the Baltic region and to a shipping sector which has struggled with overcapacity in recent years. DNB, one of the world's biggest lenders to the shipping sector, had been seeing a declining trend of souring loans in shipping, but the second quarter saw an unexpected uptick in losses for the sector. That took the shine off of what analysts said was otherwise a healthy quarter for the bank. DNB shares traded down 4.6 percent at 110.2 Norwegian crowns by 0851 GMT, underperforming the Oslo market as a whole which was 1.5 percent lower. The results dragged on DNB's Swedish banking peers which report earnings next week. Loan losses in the quarter reached 554 m

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Qatar sells $443 mln of LSE shares at 1915p - source

Sovereign wealth fund Qatar Holding has sold 260.1 million pounds ($442.6 million) worth of shares in London Stock Exchange Group (LSE), a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday, ahead of the LSE's impending $1.6 billion rights issue. Qatar sold the shares at 1,915 pence each as part of its portfolio management, the source said, adding that Qatar remained a supportive shareholder of the LSE. The disposal leaves Qatar with a stake of around 10.3 percent in the company. The LSE is planning a rights issue of new stock to help fund its $2.7 billion purchase of U.S. indexes and investment management business Russell Group, the LSE's largest-ever acquisition, which was announced in June. Qatar could use the money raised to fund the purchase of shares in the rights issue, to which it will be entitled because of its remaining shareholding, a further two sources close to the deal said. The sale represents around 5 percent of the LSE's outstanding shares. The price of

Fed's Yellen to deliver monetary policy report to Congress next week

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will go before Congress next week to deliver the U.S. central bank's latest report on monetary policy, congressional officials said on Tuesday. Yellen will appear before the Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m. EDT on July 15, the Senate committee said. She is scheduled to appear before the House Financial Services Committee at 10 a.m. the following day, a spokesman for the House committee confirmed. The Fed chief by law testifies twice a year to the two congressional panels. Her first visit as Fed chair came in February, and turned into a marathon, six-hour affair as lawmakers quizzed the new central bank chief on her plans. Her appearance next week comes as the Fed is far along in shutting down some of the main stimulus policies it used to combat the recession, and is planning its return to a more normal monetary policy. That includes an ongoing debate over when to increase interest rates and how to manage the possible reduction in the $4

Argentina to meet again with debt mediator, bonds rise

Argentina said on Tuesday it would meet with a mediator for the second time this week in the country's dispute with "holdout" investors, lifting market hopes for a deal needed to avoid another painful debt default. With the economy already in recession, President Cristina Fernandez's cash-strapped government has until July 30 to reach an agreement with hedge funds who refused to participate in the country's earlier debt restructuring and have been suing for full repayment of sovereign bonds which Argentina defaulted on in 2002. On Argentina's local over-the-counter market, benchmark Discount bonds ARDISCD=RASL rose 1.60 percent to 88.65 while Par bonds ARPARD=RASL were up 1.32 percent to 49.90. Traders cited optimism over the talks as the reason for the climb. Argentina's cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich did not say whether the holdout funds led by Elliott Management Corp and Aurelius Capital Management would participate in Friday's meeting. There

Mexico inflation seen rising to 3.78 percent in June

Mexico's annual inflation rate is seen climbing in June, but policymakers expect the rise to be temporary as the pace of consumer price gains is contained by a sluggish economy. _0"> Inflation in the 12 months through June MXCPIA=ECI is likely to have come in at 3.78 percent, up from a 3.51 percent annual rate in May, according to a Reuters poll of 20 analysts. The Mexican central bank unexpectedly slashed its main interest rate by 50 basis points in early June to a record low of 3.00 percent, saying slack in the economy gave it room to lower borrowing costs without fanning inflation. Policymakers have said they expect temporary factors to drive the annual rate above the central bank's 4 percent limit in the second half of the year, but that the rate should fall back toward 3 percent by early next year. The Reuters poll showed analysts expect consumer prices to have risen 0.20 percent MXINFL=ECI in June, mostly on an uptick in gasoline prices. Core inflation, whi

Australia consumer confidence edges higher in July

A measure of Australian consumer sentiment improved modestly in July as worries about family finances eased, a survey showed on Wednesday, though the depressing impact of an unpopular federal budget continued to linger. _0"> The survey of 1,200 people by the Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank ( id="symbol_WBC.AX_0"> WBC.AX ) showed the index of consumer sentiment rose a seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent in July, from June when it had inched up only 0.2 percent. The index still has not fully recovered from May's 6.8 percent dive which followed a budget of welfare reforms, cutbacks and increased charges for services. The index reading of 94.9 for July was down 7.1 percent on the same month last year and means pessimists still exceed optimists. The survey's measure of sentiment among supporters of the Labor opposition is down 25 percent on a year ago at 83.9. In contrast, the index for supporters of the Liberal National government has risen by 25 percent

Lew says moving to market-determined FX rate crucial for China

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Wednesday that moving to a market-determined exchange rate will be a crucial step for China, as the two countries began annual high-level talks. _0"> "We support China's efforts to allow the market to play a more decisive role in the economy and rely more on household consumption to drive China's economic growth. Moving to a market-determined exchange rate will be a crucial step," he said. "We welcome this commitment and China's economic growth. A prosperous China that grows in a way that is consistent with international rules and norms will contribute to the strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy." (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton ; Writing by Ben Blanchard ; Editing by Dean Yates )

China June consumer inflation cools, more stimulus expected

China's consumer inflation cooled slightly more than expected in June, pointing to lingering weakness in the economy which could prompt Beijing to launch further stimulus measures to shore up growth. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 2.3 percent in June from a year earlier, missing the market forecast of 2.4 percent in a Reuters poll and down from 2.5 percent in May, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday. The producer price index (PPI) dropped 1.1 percent in its 28th straight month of decline, versus a market consensus for a fall of 1 percent, signalling that demand in the domestic economy remained lukewarm, despite some recent signs of stabilisation. "The weak inflation data leaves more scope for Beijing to step up use of targeted measures and even opens the opportunity window for blanket easing policy, such as an interest rate cut, to support economic growth," said Wang Jin, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities in Shanghai. Most economists believe

BOJ may cut this fiscal year's growth forecast: sources

The Bank of Japan may slightly cut its economic forecast for the current fiscal year at a quarterly review of its estimates next week, sources familiar with its thinking said, reflecting soft exports and a bigger-than-expected slump in household spending after a sales tax hike in April. _0"> But the central bank will roughly maintain its upbeat price projections and stick to its view that the world's third-largest economy will continue a moderate recovery as the pain from the tax hike heals, the sources said on condition of anonymity. With no major change in the broad economic outlook, the BOJ is set to keep monetary settings unchanged at its two-day rate review ending on Tuesday. In its latest projections made in January, the BOJ expects the economy to expand 1.1 percent in the current business year that began in April, higher than a 0.9 percent rise forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll last month. The central bank may revise down the forecast slightly after data r

Ukraine expects to get $1.5 billion in fresh IMF aid: PM Yatseniuk

Ukraine expects to receive a second tranche of $1.5 billion from an International Monetary Fund's $17 billion aid package, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday. _0"> Yatseniuk said he was expecting to meet later on Wednesday a visiting IMF mission that has been examining Ukraine's economic performance since June 24. "We believe Ukraine has fulfilled the criteria which are written into our IMF program and we should complete discussions and successfully receive the second tranche," Yatseniuk told a government meeting. The ex-Soviet republic received a first tranche of slightly more than $3 billion in May. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing By Richard Balmforth ; Editing by Thomas Grove )

BOJ may slightly cut economic forecast, policy seen steady

The Bank of Japan may trim its economic growth forecast for the current year next week, sources familiar with its thinking said, reflecting soft exports and a bigger-than-expected slump in household spending after a sales tax hike in April. But the central bank will roughly maintain its upbeat price projections and stick to its view that the world's third-largest economy will continue a moderate recovery as the pain from the tax hike heals, the sources said on condition of anonymity. With no major change in the broad economic outlook, the BOJ is set to maintain its policy framework, under which it has pledged to increase base money by 60-70 trillion yen ($590-$689 billion) per year via aggressive asset purchases. The decision is expected at the end of a two-day meeting on July 15. "The economic contraction in April-June appears to be bigger than expected, so it won't be surprising if the BOJ cuts its growth projection," said Junko Nishioka, chief Japan economist

Opposing Chilean political forces agree tax reform compromise

After weeks of political wrangling, Chile's Finance Minister unveiled changes to a tax reform bill late on Tuesday, including a larger increase in the corporate tax rate in exchange for concessions opposition lawmakers called for. _0"> The reform, a centerpiece of President Michelle Bachelet's administration, maintained an overall goal of increasing tax revenue by $8.2 billion, equivalent to 3 percent of gross domestic product. Corporate taxes will now gradually increase to 27 percent by 2017 from a current 20 percent, according to the agreement between the minister and the Senate's five-member Finance Committee. In the bill as initially presented to Congress, corporate taxes were to increase to 25 percent. "We've reached a historic agreement ... we've managed to move forward on the most complex and profound tax reform in the last 30 years," said Finance Minister Alberto Arenas from Congress in the port city of Valparaiso. With the tax reform

Fed mulls policy exit, eyes end of asset purchases

The Federal Reserve has begun detailing how it plans to ease the U.S. economy out of an era of loose monetary policy, indicating it will end its asset purchases in October and appearing near agreement on a plan to manage interest rates in the future, according to minutes of the last Fed policy meeting. The minutes from the June 17-18 meeting indicate the Fed envisions using overnight repurchase agreements in tandem with the interest it pays banks on excess reserves to set a ceiling and floor for its target interest rate. Though no decisions have been announced, the discussion has become detailed enough for Fed officials to contemplate the proper spread between the two - mentioned in the minutes as 20 basis points. The minutes showed the Fed participants also "generally agreed" that monthly bond purchases would end in October, with a final reduction of $15 billion in monthly purchases of U.S. Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. Fed officials expressed overall c

CIMB seeks to acquire two rivals to create Malaysia's biggest bank: source

Malaysia's CIMB Group Holdings Bhd is seeking to acquire two lenders to create the country's biggest bank, a source familiar with the deal said, a move that is likely to push larger rival Maybank and others in the region to bulk up too. CIMB, the nation's second-largest bank, is likely to offer an all-stock deal to buy RHB Capital Bhd and Malaysia Building Society Bhd although details have yet to be hammered out, the source said. The source declined to be identified as the matter was not yet public. Shares in all three banks were halted pending the release of a material announcement. The proposal comes ahead of a planned partial integration of Southeast Asian economies that is due to begin by the end of next year, with countries in the 10-nation alliance keen to build national champions to bolster their banking systems. CIMB has been the most acquisitive of Malaysia's banks and a deal would be the last major move by CEO Nazir Razak, brother to the prime minister,

Metro rejects department store merger of Karstadt, Kaufhof

German retailer Metro is not interested in bringing together its Kaufhof department stores with the struggling Karstadt chain, its chief executive said. _0"> "Karstadt is still absolutely not an issue for us," Metro Chief Executive Olaf Koch told journalists at an event late on Wednesday. Speculation has long swirled about a possible merger between the two former giants of German retail and flared up again this week after the chief executive of loss-making Karstadt stepped down after only five months in the job, hinting at a lack of support from the firm's billionaire owner. Karstadt was rescued from insolvency in 2010 by Nicolas Berggruen, but unions have accused him of not investing enough in the chain, allowing Kaufhof to take market share. Department stores around the world have faced difficulties in recent years due to competition from e-commerce players like Amazon, prompting suggestions Kaufhof could buy Karstadt or a third party investor could buy an

Mothercare's interim CEO named permanent boss

Struggling British baby products retailer Mothercare, fighting off a takeover bid from U.S. group Destination Maternity, named its interim chief executive as its permanent CEO on Thursday. _0"> Mark Newton-Jones, who led online retailer Shop Direct for almost a decade, took over as interim boss in March, replacing Simon Calver who quit in February after a profit warning showed his plans to revive the group were faltering. Newton-Jones will take up his place on the Mothercare board on 17 July. "I am very much looking forward to leading the Mothercare group at such an important time in its development," he said. "We now need to put in place the building blocks to strengthen the UK performance and I believe there is then a tremendous opportunity to take this business forward." Destination Maternity has had two bid proposals for the British group rejected. (Reporting by Kate Holton , editing by James Davey)

Exclusive: UAE bourses merger shelved as terms not agreed - sources

A planned merger of the Dubai Financial Market and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) has been shelved for the foreseeable future as terms for the politically sensitive move could not be agreed, sources told Reuters on Thursday. Having been mooted for a number of years, a merger of the DFM and the ADX seemed to take an important step closer last year as investment banks were hired to advise on a tie-up - a move revealed by Reuters last October. The state-backed deal, seen as one of the biggest changes in the country's financial industry in recent years, was expected to energize financial markets in the United Arab Emirates, making it easier for investors to operate across the markets, stimulating trade and attracting more foreign investment. However, despite a number of key impediments being overcome since then, talks have stalled and a deal is now unlikely to happen any time soon. "It's been shelved," said one Abu Dhabi-based banking source aware of the ma

S.Korea holds rates for 14th month, as expected

South Korea's central bank kept its policy interest rate steady for a 14th consecutive policy meeting on Thursday, a widely expected move reflecting its confidence in a sustained recovery, despite recent signs of softening. _0"> The decision came in the face of speculation among bond traders that remarks by the finance minister-nominee asserting an urgent need to boost domestic consumption was a veiled demand for the Bank of Korea to cut interest rates. The Bank of Korea's monetary policy committee left its base rate unchanged at 2.50 percent, a media official said without elaborating. Governor Lee Ju-yeol is due to hold a news conference from 11:20 a.m. (0220 GMT) All but two of the 26 analysts surveyed by Reuters late on Tuesday forecast the Bank of Korea would leave its base rate unchanged at 2.50 percent at Thursday's meeting. Separately, the Bank of Korea is due to release revised economic growth forecasts for 2014 and 2015 later in the day. Its previous

MIDEAST STOCKS - Factors to watch - July 10

Here are some factors that may affect Middle East stock markets on Thursday. Reuters has not verified the press reports and does not vouch of their accuracy. _0"> INTERNATIONAL/REGIONAL * GLOBAL MARKETS-Fed relief lifts Asian stocks, dollar slips * Oil drops on weak U.S. fuel demand, returning Libya supply * Gold up on softer dollar; India budget eyed for import duty cut * MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar, Egypt lead gains; UAE consolidates * Luxembourg approves bill paving way for sukuk this year * Head of Libya investment fund steps down over political law * BNP pleads guilty again in $9 bln U.S. sanctions accord * De Mistura succeeds Brahimi as U.N. Syria mediator - diplomats * Iran says offers ways to ease impasse over underground nuclear plant * Refugee agency says more than 35,000 people displaced by Yemen fighting * Syrian government forces squeeze insurgents in Aleppo TURKEY * Turkish Airlines shares rise on Lufthansa long-haul talks * Turkey's Turkiye Finans

Market Chatter- Corporate finance press digest

The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media: _0"> * German lender Commerzbank AG is expected to pay between $600 million and $800 million to resolve investigations into its dealings with Iran and other countries under U.S. sanctions, sources familiar with the matter said. For the deals of the day click on For the Morning News Call-EMEA newsletter click on (Compiled by Aastha Agnihotri in Bangalore)

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - July 10

The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. _0"> * Federal Reserve officials agreed at June's policy meeting to end their bond-buying program in October, putting an explicit end date on the experiment for the first time. Most officials at the June meeting also indicated that they expect an interest rate hike to come next year. ( ) * IBM on Wednesday pledged to spend $3 billion over five years on semiconductor research. The money will be directed toward two major tasks: tackling technical obstacles to the miniaturization of circuitry on conventional silicon chips and developing alternative materials and technologies to keep boosting computing speed while consuming less energy. ( ) * The Education Department says it was unaware of the dire state of Corinthian Colleges Inc's finances before it moved June 12 to restrict access to fede

Son of local hero bids to lead Slovenia to limited makeover

Miro Cerar may be a newcomer to politics, but he is already a household name to the 2 million people of Slovenia, the euro zone state whose fragile economy he will have to nurture if he wins an election on Sunday. The son of one of his country's greatest sportsmen is front runner to become prime minister and take on the task of dragging Slovenia, once seen as a model for post-Communist prosperity, out of financial crisis and economic malaise. Slovenia narrowly avoided having to seek an international bailout for its banks late last year. Sunday's parliamentary election is rattling investors' nerves again, this time over the fate of measures the outgoing government agreed with its EU partners to steady Slovenia's finances and remake an economy roughly 50-percent controlled by the state. A bespectacled law professor and adviser to parliament, Cerar, 50, takes his celebrity from his father Miroslav Cerar, a two-time Olympic pommel horse champion in the 1960s when Slove

Greek yields dip as yield-starved investors eye three-year bond

Greek yields dipped on Thursday as the aid recipient readied an issue of three-year bonds in its second debt sale since its default, taking advantage of a European Central Bank promise to make long-term loans to banks. The sale is expected to raise 3 billion euros and follows a five-year bond sale in April, which marked one of the fastest market comebacks by a sovereign following a debt restructuring. It is also signalling Greece's gradual emergence from a debt crisis that started in 2010 and spread to other countries in the euro zone at its peak in 2011 and 2012, when Athens imposed heavy losses on private bondholders. Although Greece is expected to come out of a six-year recession in 2014 and is running a budget surplus excluding interest rate payments, the renewed interest for its bonds has a more powerful force behind it. The ECB's ultra-easy monetary policy has pinned yields on top-rated bonds at record lows and pushed investors towards riskier assets to maximise retu

Russian minister says supports saving Mechel with bankruptcy law one option

Russian Industry Minister Denis Manturov said on Thursday he supported returning indebted miner Mechel to financial health within the framework of bankruptcy law or by creating a managing company, RIA Novosti news agency reported. _0"> On Wednesday state-owned development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) said it would not take part in a bailout of Mechel, extinguishing hopes for a convertible bond scheme that was seen as its most likely lifeline. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Alessandra Prentice)

Greek yields jump as bond sale draws modest demand

Greek bond yields extended their rise on Thursday with traders citing investor disappointment with initial demand for a new three-year bond Athens is selling via a syndicate of banks. _0"> Order books for the bond have topped 3 billion euros, according to IFR, a Thomson Reuters service. When Greece sold a five-year bond back in April orders reached over 20 billion euros. Bailed-out Greece is aiming to raise up to 3 billion euros from the new bond, its second bond sale after it defaulted in 2012. Greek 10-year bond yields were up 14 basis points on the day to 6.25 percent, underperforming the rest of the euro zone debt market. Yields on bonds issued by peer Portugal were up 13 bps at 3.94 percent, remaining under pressure amid concern over a proposed debt restrcturing by a holding company of the founding family of Banco Espirito Santo (BES), the country's largest listed bank. (Reporting by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Marius Zaharia; Editing by John Geddie)

UPDATE 1-Harbinger sues Dish, Ergen for $1.5 bln over LightSquared

Harbinger Capital Partners has sued Dish Network Corp and its chairman, Charles Ergen, for at least $1.5 billion, accusing them of trying to strip the hedge fund of its control of bankrupt wireless company LightSquared. The lawsuit, filed in a Colorado federal court on Tuesday, said Ergen had engaged in fraud and violated a federal anti-racketeering law. LightSquared LP filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012. Its Chapter 11 case has been marred by a long-running battle between Ergen, who became LightSquared's largest creditor during the bankruptcy, and Phil Falcone's Harbinger, which spent billions of dollars building the company's wireless network. Dish and Ergen engaged in "an illegal scheme involving mail and wire fraud, bankruptcy fraud, tortious interference, and abuse of process," said the complaint. "Defendants wrongfully and deceptively created chaos in the bankruptcy proceedings so that Harbinger would lose control of the LightSquared board.&quo

Hansa Group says has filed for insolvency under own management

Hansa Group, a German supplier of chemicals for detergents and body care products, said on Wednesday it had filed for insolvency under its own management, after having reviewed future restructuring options. _0"> The company added it expects that the insolvency court "will act very quickly to appoint a provisional administrator". (Reporting by Christoph Steitz , editing by David Evans)

Energy Future postpones hearings after judge questions plans

Texas power company Energy Future Holdings has postponed indefinitely court hearings aimed at keeping its fast-track bankruptcy on course after a judge questioned the company's approach. The company said in a filing on Tuesday that it was postponing hearings scheduled for Thursday and Friday at which it was hoping to win approval to borrow $1.9 billion to help finance its plan to exit bankruptcy early next year. In April, Energy Future Holdings filed one of the largest U.S. bankruptcies with a plan to split the company in a bid to restructure more than $40 billion in debt. The company also postponed a July 18 hearing when it hoped for approval of an RSA, or restructuring support agreement, which would commit the company and certain creditors to a schedule and a restructuring outline. The company said it would use the time to discuss potentially beneficial developments with creditors and outside parties. It also said it would consider July 1 comments from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge

Detroit art sale could bring less than half collection's value -expert

The Detroit Institute of Arts collection may be worth as much as $4.6 billion, but a sale of art works would raise less than $2 billion to pay the bankrupt city's creditors, according to a report released on Wednesday. _0"> Michael Plummer, an art expert hired by the institute and the city to evaluate the collection and ways to raise cash from it, concluded that litigation and market conditions would depress prices. Liquidating the most valuable works would eventually force the museum to close, in his opinion. "Rather than being a source of cash to creditors or a burden on the current city, in fact, the DIA is the single most important cultural asset the city currently owns for rebuilding the vitality of the city," Plummer reported. Some of Detroit's hold-out creditors have been pushing the city to sell or monetize art works to increase settlement payments in the city's plan to adjust $18 billion of debt and exit the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.

PwC must face $1 billion lawsuit over MF Global collapse

A federal judge on Wednesday rejected PricewaterhouseCoopers' request to dismiss a $1 billion lawsuit accusing the auditor of providing bad accounting advice that contributed to the October 2011 collapse of MF Global Holdings Ltd, a brokerage run by former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine. U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero rejected PwC's argument that the MF Global's bankruptcy plan administrator, which brought the lawsuit, "stands in the shoes" of the company under the "in pari delicto" legal doctrine, and cannot recover because Corzine and other officials were also to blame for the collapse. Marrero has yet to review other PwC arguments for dismissal, including that the administrator had no authority to sue and did not show that the accounting advice was a "proximate" cause of MF Global's bankruptcy. A PwC spokesman had no immediate comment. The auditor's lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The March 28