Germany confirms it will repay customers of insolvent Thomas Cook

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a closed Thomas Cook travel agents store near Manchester, Britain, October 9, 2019. /Phil Noble/File PhotoBERLIN () – The German government confirmed on Wednesday it was willing to repay customers of insolvent Thomas Cook as the tour operator’s insurance coverage was not sufficient. “Damages that are not compensated by

UPDATE 1-European shares slightly lower ahead of pivotal UK election

() – European shares were a bit lower on Wednesday as investors intently waited for a pivotal British election on Thursday to decide the fate of Brexit, with attention also focused on central bank meetings in the United States and euro zone this week. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured

UPDATE 4-Boost for Saudi Arabia as Aramco shares surge 10% on debut

RIYADH/DUBAI () – Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) shares surged the maximum permitted 10% above their initial public offering (IPO) price on their Riyadh stock market debut on Wednesday, closing in on the $2 trillion valuation long sought by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Participants attend the official ceremony marking the debut of Saudi Aramco’s initial

Hong Kong stocks end firmer on possible tariff delay

* Hang Seng adds 0.8%, H-shares up 1% * Media report claims Washington, Beijing working on tariff delay * Fresh U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods set for Dec.15 HONG KONG, Dec 11 () – Hong Kong stocks closed higher on Wednesday amid speculation that Washington may hold back from slapping new tariffs on Chinese exports

RPT-UPDATE 2-Credit Suisse cuts profit goals as revenue hopes fall short

ZURICH () – Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) cut a key profitability target for this year and next as a drop in dealmaking, negative interest rates and uncertainty caused by global trade tensions dimmed the outlook. FILE PHOTO: Switzerland’s national flag flies below a logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse at its headquarters at the Paradeplatz square

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala optimistic about Softbank Vision Fund

DUBAI () – Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala says it remains optimistic about Softbank’s (9434.T) Vision Fund, a senior executive said on Wednesday. “The SoftBank Vision Fund is doing well, we are three years into it. We continue to be optimistic about them,” Ibrahim Ajami, head of Mubadala Venture Capital said at a conference. Mubadala

UPDATE 1-Saga names former Superdry boss Euan Sutherland as CEO

(Adds analyst comment, details on incoming CEO, background) Dec 11 () – Over-50s tourism and insurance company Saga Plc on Wednesday tapped former Superdry Plc top boss Euan Sutherland as its chief executive officer, replacing Lance Batchelor whose retirement was announced in June. Sutherland’s appointment is just a few months after activist investor Elliott Management

Credit Suisse to stop financing new coal-fired power plants

ZURICH, Dec 11 () – Credit Suisse will stop financing the development of new coal-fired power plants, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank said, a week after environmental groups urged it to act. “The bank has decided to no longer provide any form of financing specifically related to the development of new coal-fired power plants. This is in

Australian shares end firmer in subdued trade; NZ inches down

* Webjet shares top ASX after takeover talk * Consumer stocks also up * NZ cuts 2019/2020 growth forecast (Updates to close) By Devika Syamnath Dec 11 () – Resources and banking stocks helped Australian equities end higher amid low-volume trade on Wednesday, while takeover buzz propelled travel site Webjet Ltd’s shares to the top

Brazilian airline GOL says Delta Air exits stake

Dec 11 () – Brazil’s GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA said late Tuesday that Delta Air lines Inc has sold more than 32.9 million shares it held in the company, a few months after the Atlanta-based airline announced its decision to exit stake. Delta’s decision to sell its stake was expected, following its acquisition of

China shares climb as investors weigh potential tariff delay

* SSEC +0.1%, CSI300 flat, HSI +0.3%, HSCE +0.5% * Still no clarity on Dec. 15 tariffs from Trump – source * China Nov new bank loans rebound more than expected HONG KONG, Dec 11 () – China stocks edged up amid cautious trade on Wednesday following a report that officials from Washington and Beijing

Buttigieg opens fundraisers to media after tension over donor influence

NEW YORK () – U.S. Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg held his first fundraiser open to press coverage on Tuesday after facing pressure from rival Elizabeth Warren to be more transparent. FILE PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks during the Teamsters Vote 2020 Presidential Forum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S., December 7, 2019. /Shannon

Consumer, energy stocks lift Australian shares; NZ falls

* Webjet surges 11% on denying acquisition reports * Westpac up 0.7% ahead of AGM on Thursday * GrainCorp slips; appoints new CEO from NZ’s Fonterra By Niyati Shetty Dec 11 () – Australian shares rose on Wednesday, led by gains in consumer and resource-based sectors, though trading volumes were low as a looming deadline

Australian regulator keeps banks’ buffer at 0%, flags future change

SYDNEY, Dec 11 () – Australia’s bank watchdog on Wednesday said it had decided to keep the extra capital buffers banks are required to hold for emergencies at zero, but flagged the likelihood of a change at some point in the future. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) said setting the countercyclical capital buffer default

FEATURE-Urban planning in Afghanistan: angry warlords and no census

KABUL (Thomson Foundation) – Like any other mayor of a booming city, Kabul Mayor Ahmad Zaki Sarfaraz worries about traffic congestion, affordable housing and water shortages, but with an added wrinkle: he has no idea how many people live in the Afghan capital. The last census in Afghanistan was in 1979, and much of the

Hudson’s Bay investor says will vote against take-private deal

FILE PHOTO: A man exits a Hudson’s Bay department store in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 6, 2016. /Chris HelgrenNEW YORK () – Hudson’s Bay Co (HBC.TO) investor Ortelius Advisors LP said it will vote against the Saks Fifth Avenue owner’s C$1.9 billion ($1.4 billion) take-private deal because of what the hedge fund views as lapses

RPT-Indonesia e-commerce execs say new rules may choke booming online growth

(Repeats story that ran on Tuesday evening, with no changes to text) JAKARTA, Dec 10 () – Indonesian e-commerce industry executives have criticised new regulations requiring online vendors to obtain government permits, saying the mandatory procedures would sharply increase costs and stifle the country’s booming e-commerce market. Under a new law introduced last week, all

Australia shares likely to open flat; NZ slips

Dec 11 () – Australian shares are poised to open little changed on Wednesday as wary investors brace themselves ahead of a Dec. 15 deadline for a new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. Markets await concrete headlines from either Washington or Beijing to gain clarity on the direction of the protracted trade dispute

HSBC Swiss unit to pay $192 mln to settle U.S. tax investigation

FILE PHOTO: HSBC logo is seen on a branch bank in the financial district in New York, U.S., August 7, 2019. /Brendan McDermid() – The Swiss private banking unit of HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) will pay $192.4 million in penalties to settle a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the bank helping its U.S. clients

Citigroup expects higher markets revenue in current quarter

FILE PHOTO: The Citigroup Inc (Citi) logo is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017. /Chris Helgren() – Citigroup Inc (C.N) expects higher markets revenue in the fourth quarter, as the markets recovered from turbulence late last year. Speaking at an investor conference, Chief Financial Officer Mark