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European stocks fell to a two-week low as euro-area finance ministers met to discuss Greek aid and concern grew that impending U.S. tax increases and spending cuts will harm the world’s biggest economy.
National benchmark indexes fell in 12 of the 18 western- European markets today. France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.4 percent, while Germany’s DAX and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 were little changed.
Greece’s ASE sank 3.6 percent as Alpha Bank tumbled 14 percent to 1.56 euros. National Bank of Greece SA, the nation’s largest lender, lost 14 percent to 1.51 euros.
Plans to give Greece extra time to meet deficit-cutting targets would open up a financing gap of about 15 billion euros through 2014 and 17.6 billion euros in the two following years, the country’s creditors said. The so-called troika of the European Commission, ECB and International Monetary Fund supplied the estimates for tonight’s meeting of euro-area finance ministers in Brussels, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News.
Telecom Italia climbed 4.2 percent to 72 euro cents. Italy’s former phone monopoly received interest from Sawiris, founder of Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, about an investment “through underwriting of new stock,” the Milan-based company said today. The offer is valued at more than 2 billion euros, said a person familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified because the discussions are confidential.
Banco Popular Espanol SA surged 4.6 percent to 1.17 euros as the Spanish bank said it plans to sell as much as 2.5 billion euros of discounted shares to close a capital shortfall.
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