LONDON — Halfway through Europe’s company earnings season, investors who made record bets in search of dividends have cause for celebration, though they should prepare for disappointment from some traditionally high-paying sectors.
Global miner Rio Tinto raised its dividend by 15 percent last week, and French oil firm Total joined in with a 3.4 percent rise, while French bank BNP Paribas said it planned to boost its dividend payout ratio to around 45 percent of earnings by 2016 from 41 percent.
PARIS — France is sticking to its current deficit reduction plans and is not seeking extra time to bring its finances in line with EU rules, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Tuesday.
France’s EU partners have already granted it two extra years to cut its public deficit to a European limit of three percent of economic output, giving Paris until 2015.
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve on Wednesday decided to trim its bond purchases by another $10 billion as it stuck to a plan to wind down its extraordinary economic stimulus despite recent turmoil in emerging markets.
The action was widely expected, although some investors had speculated that the U.S. central bank might put its plans on hold given the jitters overseas.
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NEW YORK — A new judge presiding over Bank of America Corp’s (BAC.N) proposed $8.5 billion settlement with investors in soured mortgage securities on Tuesday postponed entering a final judgment in the case, raising the possibility of additional legal maneuvers.
Justice Saliann Scarpulla of New York state court in Manhattan, who took over the case this week, agreed to delay the decision from taking effect until at least February 19, according to lawyers involved in the case.