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Exclusive: Central bank says Russia will not impose capital controls

By Oksana Kobzeva and Lidia Kelly MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will not impose capital controls, the central bank said on Tuesday, easing concerns that restrictions could be introduced to stem capital flight that has accelerated since the Ukrainian region of Crimea was seized by Russian forces.

Mexico central bank seen holding rates steady next week: Reuters poll

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's central bank is expected to hold its main interest rate steady next Friday and policymakers are likely to brush off higher inflation as they look to support an economic recovery, a Reuters poll showed on Friday. All 19 analysts surveyed expect the central bank to hold its main interest rate at a record low of 3.50 percent on March 21.

S. Korea keeps interest rate unchanged for March

South Korea's central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged at 2.5 percent for the 10th consecutive month Thursday, citing mixed signs of a global recovery. Seven policymakers at the central Bank of Korea made the largely-anticipated decision to freeze the overnight inter-bank loan rate. "The US economy continues to rebound and the slowdown in the eurozone showed signs of abating, while growth in emerging markets slowed," the BOK said in a statement.

New Zealand central bank raises rates, steady tightening planned

By Naomi Tajitsu WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's central bank raised interest rates on Thursday and signaled further rises through early 2017, taking the lead among developed economies in tightening monetary policy as it tries to quell inflation pressures in an outperforming economy. In a widely expected move, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand lifted its official cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.75 percent, raising rates from a record low 2.5 percent.

Crisis-hit Italian BMPS bank surprises with size of loss

Italian bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS), one of the oldest and most prestigious lenders in Europe, on Wednesday reported an unexpectedly big loss for 2013. The bank, founded in 1472, suffered a net loss of 1.439 billion euros ($1.99 billion) last year -- a blow for BMPS as it prepare to raise fresh capital to avoid nationalisation. The figure far exceeded a loss of about 900 million euros forecast by analysts surveyed by the Radiocor news agency. But it was an improvement on the net loss of 3.168 billion euros the crisis-hit bank suffered in 2012.

China central bank sees deposit rate liberalization within two years

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is likely to liberalize deposit rates in one to two years, central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said on Tuesday at a media conference at China's annual parliament session. "Deposit rate liberalization is on our agenda. Personally I think it's very likely to be realized within one or two years," Zhou said.

Monte Paschi shares soar, fuelling speculation of stake sale

MILAN (Reuters) - Shares in Italy's third biggest lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena <BMPS.MI> soared 20 percent in heavy volume on Wednesday, prompting speculation the bank's top investor may have found a buyer for part or all of its stake in the bank. Three sources close to the situation and a financial source said the banking foundation that has just over 30 percent of the lender could have sold a stake. None of them however said they knew or were certain this had happened. The foundation and the bank declined to comment.

Canada central bank maintains key lending rate at 1%

Canada's central bank on Wednesday held its key lending rate at the near-record low of one percent, noting recent softer global growth due to bad weather and tensions in Ukraine. With inflation forecast to remain well below the Bank of Canada's 2.0 percent target, interest rates are widely expected to remain unchanged this year from September 2010 levels. According to the bank, excess supply in the economy and retail competition will likely keep a lid on inflation.

Police probe fraud scandal targeting Italian MPS bank

Italy's financial police searched premises in several cities Wednesday as part of a probe into an association accused of defrauding Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, media reports said. Searches were carried out in Milan, Monza and Siena, including at the headquarters of Centrosim, a financial intermediary society headed by the central institute of Italian popular banks. Police are looking for documents which may help trace transactions between the world's oldest bank and broker company Enigma, sent through Centrosim.

Standard Chartered bank says 2013 net profit down 16%

Standard Chartered bank on Wednesday said net profit fell more than 16 percent in 2013 as it was hit by impairment charges at its South Korean operations. The London-based but Asia-focused lender said net profit came in at $3.99 billion last year, down 16.65 percent from $4.79 billion in 2012. Operating income fell one percent to $18.67 billion in 2013, compared to the previous year, while annual profit before tax was down 11 percent to $6.06 billion.
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