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Singapore says economy slowed sharply in January-March

Singapore's economic growth slowed sharply in the first three months of the year, data showed Monday, but the central bank stood pat on monetary policy saying it would be lifted by a pick-up in global growth. Preliminary estimates showed the city-state's trade-reliant economy expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent quarter on quarter, the trade ministry said. That compared with 6.1 percent expansion in October-December. The ministry said growth was hit by a 1.8 percent quarter-on-quarter contraction in the services industry.

Ukraine puts crisis limit on cash withdrawals, currency rallies

Ukraine's central bank limited bank withdrawals to about 1,000 euros a day on Friday in the latest sign of the desperate state of national finances and a run on bank accounts. The crisis measure, which lifted the national hryvnia currency from record low levels, limits withdrawals from bank accounts to 15,000 hryvnia (1,095 euros, $1,400) per day. The previous ceiling was about five times higher. The central bank's new control measures include a $5,500 monthly limit on the amount of foreign currency which an individual can obtain.

Coal mine blast kills seven in Ukraine

DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Seven miners were killed and nine others injured when a methane blast ripped through a coal mine in eastern Ukraine, emergency officials said on Tuesday. The blast occurred on Monday night at the Severnaya mine in Makeyevka, about 15 km (9 miles) from the city of Donetsk, the emergencies ministry said. Like those in other former Soviet republics, Ukraine's mining sector has been plagued by accidents often blamed on poor infrastructure and a failure to follow safety regulations.

New controls in place, Ukraine tries to dampen currency fear

By Natalia Zinets KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's central bank tried to dampen fears about its currency on Friday after imposing new capital controls to bolster the hryvnia that banks said were likely to cripple trade and lead to a currency black market. Ukraine is struggling to prop up its currency amid a political crisis that has seen anti-government demonstrators take to the streets to protest against a move closer to Moscow's economic orbit, and a debt crisis that has left it on the verge of bankruptcy.

Ukraine central bank curbs forex purchases

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's central bank said on Thursday it had introduced restrictions on certain types of foreign exchange purchase to help defend the stability of the banking system at a time of volatility in the currency market. In measures it said followed efforts to stabilize the hryvnia in recent weeks - during which political conflict in Ukraine has alarmed investors - the National Bank of Ukraine also said it would be offering extraordinary tenders to support banking liquidity, with funds available up to 360 days.

Four dead in Ukraine coal mine fire

Four miners were killed Monday when a fire broke out at coal pit in eastern Ukraine notorious for frequent accidents, local officials said. The fire broke out at the Svyato-Pokrovska mine in the Donetsk region at 11:44 am (0944 GMT), the Donetsk administration said in a statement. Twelve of the 28 miners working at the time were in an area directly affected by the fire. "According to preliminary information, four miners were fatally injured," the statement said.

Investment by Ukrainian steel, mining giant boosts Black Iron's flagging stock

TORONTO - Black Iron Inc. (TSX:BKI) was one of Canada's most active stocks Tuesday after it announced Ukraine's largest mining and steel company is making a significant investment in the company's development subsidiary BKI Cyprus. More than three million Black Iron's shares traded by midmorning, following an announcement that Metinvest BV had committed to invest between US$20 million and US$536 million to fund development in Ukraine.

"Swedbank" pulls out of Russia and Ukraine

Swedish bank "Swedbank" said on Monday it will discontinue operations in Russia and sell its Ukrainian subsidiary, leaving it to focus on its home markets."This is the final step in our strategy to concentrate "Swedbank's" business activities (on) Sweden and the three Baltic countries," Chief Executive Michael Wolf said in a statement."Swedbank" plans to exit Ukraine before mid-year under a share purchase agreement signed with Mykola Lagun, the majority owner of local lender "Delta Bank".

Slovenian central bank cuts 2013 growth forecast

Slovenia's economy will contract more than previously expected this year, the central bank said Tuesday, forecasting gross domestic product to shrink by 1.9 percent. In its previous prediction, the central bank said the economy would contract by 0.7 percent. Slovenia will start a modest recovery in 2014, with 0.5-percent growth speeding up to 1.4 percent of GDP in 2015, the bank also said.

Swedbank to pull out of Russia, Ukraine, focus on home markets

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish bank Swedbank <SWEDa.ST> said on Monday it will discontinue operations in Russia and sell its Ukrainian subsidiary, leaving it to focus on its home markets. "This is the final step in our strategy to concentrate Swedbank's business activities (on) Sweden and the three Baltic countries," Chief Executive Michael Wolf said in a statement.
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