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Hitt og þetta 22. febrúar 2006

DJ Dow Jones News Highlights: Top Stories Of The Day

TOP STORIES

ALASKA REACHES GAS-PIPELINE DEAL WITH BP, EXXON, CONOCOPHILLIPS
After decades of talks, Alaska reaches an agreement with three major energy companies, BP, Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips, to build a mammoth new pipeline to transport natural gas from the North Slope to the rest of North America. The project will likely cost more than $20 billion and will take well into next decade to complete.


ANGLO AMERICAN HIKES PAY-OUT; FLAGS MONDI IPO
Diversified mining and natural resources group boosts its capital return program and says it will list its paper and packaging business Mondi on the London Stock Exchange this year or next.


BUSH, CONGRESS HEAD FOR CLASH OVER PORTS DEAL
In a collision of economic and national-security interests, U.S. President Bush squares off against Congressional leaders and governors over the transfer of six U.S. shipping ports to the management of a Middle Eastern company.


AIB '05 NET UP 17% ON UK, IRISH MARKETS
Ireland's largest bank posts '05 net profit of EUR1.43 billion from EUR1.16 billion, due to a buoyant domestic economy, while adjusted basic earnings per share rises 15% to EUR1.46 from EUR1.27, above analysts expectations for EUR1.43.


BASF 4Q NET UP 39%, MISSES VIEWS
Chemicals company unveils increase in 4Q net profit to EUR560 million, driven by strong demand in its plastics and oil and gas divisions, though figure misses analysts' forecasts of EUR639 million as higher oil prices weigh down earnings.


ASKARIYA SHRINE DOME IN IRAQ 'DESTROYED'
A large explosion destroys the golden dome of one Iraq's most famous Shiite religious shrines in Samarra early today, says the U.S. military. Police believe there are victims buried in the debris, but have no immediate casualty figures.


HEINEKEN '05 NET UP 19% ON HIGHER VOLUMES
Shares start up over 2% as Dutch brewer unveils an increase in full-year net profit to EUR761 million from EUR642 million the year earlier, boosted by volume growth of 5.3% and ongoing cost cuts. Analysts had forecast net profit of EUR746 million.


GERMAN 4Q GROWTH FOUNDERS AS EXPORTS DIP
German economy doesn't grow at all in 4Q, show data from the Federal Statistics Office, after expanding 0.6% in 3Q as investment growth fails to compensate for a slowdown in exports. Data confirm preliminary estimates.


FRENCH JAN CONSUMER SPENDING UP 0.9% ON MONTH
Insee says consumer spending on manufactured goods grows a monthly 0.9% in January and 2.5% on year, above the 0.7% monthly and 1.5% annual growth predicted by economists. Meanwhile, French business confidence is at highest in five years.


TOKYO SHARES END LOWER
Nikkei 225 falls 0.7%, giving back some of yesterday's huge gains as a downbeat report by Citigroup on the U.S. microchip industry makes investors bearish on Japanese counterparts including Advantest and Tokyo Electron.


TDC 4Q NET MORE THAN TRIPLES
Telecommunications operator's 4Q net profit more than triples to DKK4.39 billion from DKR1.33 billion a year earlier on gains from asset sales and after acquisitions buoyed growth at the fixed-line unit.


US FED MINUTES SHOW INFLATION CONCERNS OFFICIALS
Some Federal Reserve officials think the current level of inflation is too high, reinforcing the likelihood that interest rates are headed higher, show minutes to the Fed's Jan. 31 meeting.


DEUTSCHE BOERSE PURSUES NEW TALKS WITH EURONEXT
Deutsche Boerse Chief Executive Reto Francioni identifies rival Euronext as his preferred merger partner but sets tough conditions for any potential deal as Germany's stock-exchange operator released record earnings late yesterday.


US TAKES UN SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY
The U.S. presidency of the Security Council gives new life to the long-simmering power struggle between the small but powerful body and the U.N. General Assembly that gives every nation an equal vote.



MARKET WATCH:

FTSE 5846.30 -0.19%
DAX 5791.88 -0.16%
CAC 4988.20 -0.07%
STOXX 3774.98 -0.12%
DJIA 11069.06 -0.42%