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Lufthansa and its partner MSC have been looking at financial data opened up by state-owned ITA Airways to see if the Italian airline would make a good strategic acquisition, the German carrier's chief executive said on Thursday, Reuters reported. Prospective bidders for ITA Airways have had access to its finance data room for about 72 hours, Chief Executive Carsten Spohr told a news conference. The Italian government wants to clinch an ITA privatisation deal by mid-June, sources told Reuters in March.
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EU antitrust rules should be beefed up to allow regulators to break up companies for serious breaches, German State Secretary Sven Giegold said on Wednesday, urging EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager to consider this when reforming regulations, Reuters reported. Rules known as Regulation 1/2003, in force since 2004, have allowed Vestager to go after Alphabet unit Google, Apple, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft and Intel, and impose billions of euros in fines.
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The number of people registering as jobless in Spain fell 2.77%in April to 3.02 million people, the lowest level since July 2019, as hirings sped up and took formal jobs to over 20 million for the first time ever, official data showed on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Most sectors added jobs in the month, and a strong recovery of the pandemic-ravaged tourism industry during the Easter holidays also contributed to the improvements in the labour market data, the Labour Ministry said.
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Euro zone retail sales slipped by more than expected in March as the Russian invasion of Ukraine sapped consumer confidence and inflation surged, data showed on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said retail trade in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell 0.4% month-on-month in March for a 0.8% year-on-year rise. Russia's invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.1% monthly decline and a 1.4% year-on-year rise.
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The European Union's executive on Wednesday proposed the toughest package of sanctions yet against Moscow for its war in Ukraine, but several countries worried about the impact of cutting off Russia oil imports stood in the way of agreement, Reuters reported. The new punishments, announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, included sanctions on Russia's top bank and a ban on Russian broadcasters from European airwaves, as well as the embargo on crude oil in six months.
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Britain banned all service sector exports to Russia on Wednesday and imposed sanctions on 63 individuals and organisations, its latest wave of measures to increase pressure on Moscow to reverse course and pull back from Ukraine, Reuters reported. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been a leading supporter of Ukraine since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, framing London's sanctions against Moscow as a way of punishing President Vladimir Putin over a war the Russian leader describes as a "special operation" to denazify its neighbour.
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A Dutch court ruled that Microsoft Corp. must allow bankruptcy trustees appointed to the Russia-linked Amsterdam Trade Bank to access to its data or face fines, Bloomberg News reported. The technology giant risks daily fines of 10 million euros ($10.5 million), with a maximum penalty of 100 million euros, if it doesn’t comply with the ruling, court-appointed trustee Job van Hooff said by phone late Tuesday. ATB, a lender linked to Russia’s Alfa Group, was declared bankrupt last month in the Netherlands after U.S. and U.K. sanctions paralyzed its payment systems.
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Foreign financial aid will ensure the stability of Ukraine's central bank reserves as the country deals with the economic shock from the Russian invasion, central bank governor Kyrylo Shevchenko said late on Monday, Reuters reported. The central bank's international reserves fell to $26.8 billion as of beginning of May from $28.1 billion a month earlier. "We have an adequate stock of international reserves, despite the ... government's fulfilments of all its foreign debt obligations," Shevchenko wrote on the NV Business media portal.
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Russia’s closely watched dollar payments on two bonds are trickling through to investors after the country dipped into its local holdings of the U.S. currency and sidestepped its first foreign default in a century, Bloomberg News reported. The transfer of the $650 million had got tangled up in the wide-ranging sanctions imposed after the invasion of Ukraine. And despite the 11th-hour escape before a Wednesday deadline to get the funds to creditors, Russia could face bigger hurdles within weeks that scupper future payments. For now, it appears money is getting through.
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The European Union must avoid locking itself into years of dependence on fossil fuels as it races to replace Russian oil and gas with supplies from other countries, 11 former EU policy chiefs have said in a letter to the bloc's current leadership, Reuters reported. The European Commission will this month unveil plans to end Europe's reliance on Russian energy, which are expected to expand renewable energy faster while encouraging the urgent replacement of Russian gas with alternative supplies.
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