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UPDATE 1-African bank ETI says net profit up 61 pct


ETI, which operates funds transfer, commercial and investment banking in over 30 African countries with nearly 600 branches, said net profit rose to 186.58 million cedis ($115.17 mln) from 116.15 million cedis for the same period last year.”We contained costs and improved efficiency during the period on the back of a strong balance sheet and healthy levels of liquidity,” it said, adding that growth in international and regional trade also boosted its results.ETI said in the statement that revenues rose 37 percent to 1.21 billion cedis from 888.97 million cedis, while net interest income rose 23 percent to 602.36 million cedis, from 490.21 million a year earlier.Basic earnings per share rose 60 percent to 0.0162 cedis from 0.0108 cedis.ETI also said it plans to complete the acquisition of Nigeria’s rescued lender Oceanic Bank by year-end after the companies agreed a deal in August.”The outlook for the final quarter of 2011 is promising.”“Subject to the necessary regulatory and shareholder approvals we hope to conclude the acquisitions of Oceanic Bank in Nigeria and the Trust Bank in Ghana. We expect these to have a positive impact on our future performance,” the Bank said in a statement.Oceanic Bank said last month it would seek shareholders’ approval for the transfer of 40.17 percent of its holdings to Ecobank following the merger signed in August.

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Samba posts 2.9 percent rise in Q3 net profit


Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the firm to post on average, 1.1 billion riyals in the third-quarter. ($1=3.750 Riyal)

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Seoul shares slip amid caution; auto issues gain


* Retailers down after discouraging job dataBy Jungyoun ParkSEOUL, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Seoul shares slipped on Wednesday after four consecutive sessions of gains and as investors remained tuned to news from the euro zone and the United States.Sentiment was fragile following news of Slovakia blocking a European bailout fund and the defeat of U.S. President Barack Obama’s jobs bill by the U.S. Senate, analysts said.”The market is pretty much stalled at this level, and not-so-welcoming news from Europe and the United States is not helping sentiment,” said Y.S. Rhoo, a market analyst at Hyundai Securities.The parliament of tiny Slovakia stalled the expansion of a bailout fund to rescue the euro zone from its debt crisis on Tuesday.The U.S. Senate defeated President Barack Obama’s job-creation package on Tuesday in a sign that Washington is likely too paralysed to take major steps to spur hiring before the 2012 election.”Normally buying appetite returns at the low 1,700 point level. Given the current macroeconomic situation, the market will continue to fluctuate,” Rhoo added.Foreign investors were sellers of a net 30.1 billion won($25.8 million) worth of stocks, and institutions offloaded a net 37.1 billion won worth, poised to snap a four-session buying streak.The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.63 percent at 1,783.66 points as of 0128 GMT.Falls in technology issues weighed, with LG Electronics , the world’s No.3 handset maker, shedding 2.8 percent and Samsung Electronics , the world’s No.1 memory chip maker, losing 1 percent.But automakers and auto parts manufacturers outperformed amid expectations for the approval of a free trade agreement with the United States.A U.S. Senate panel on Tuesday backed long-delayed trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, paving the way for final approval.Hyundai Motor edged up 0.2 percent and Hyundai Mobis advanced 0.6 percent.Shares in firms with interests in North Korea were buoyed after South Korea said on Tuesday it would allow 120 firms to restart building a joint industrial park in the North.Apparel manufacturer Shinwon Corp , which has production units in North Korea, climbed 1.7 percent.Retailers came under pressure after discouraging job data.South Korea created the smallest number of jobs in a year in September, nudging the unemployment rate higher off a three-year low and adding to signs of a slowdown in Asia’ fourth-largest economy.Shares in Lotte Shopping Co Ltd , the country’s top retailer in terms of market value, declined 2.3 percent and Shinsegae Co Ltd , the country’s No.2, was down 2.1 percent.($1 = 1164.550 Korean Won)

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Scores arrested at Occupy Boston protest site


Protesters said late on Monday that police had given participants an ultimatum to return to their small original encampment by nightfall or be moved along.But it was not until after 1 a.m. ET Tuesday when hundreds of Boston and Transit police officers, some in riot gear, moved in on the group, handcuffing protesters and tearing down tents.”At 1:30 this morning hundreds of police in full riot gear brutally attacked Occupy Boston,” the group said in a news release, adding that authorities “made no distinction between protesters, medics, or legal observers.”Police said no protesters or police were injured in the maneuver.”Civil disobedience will not be tolerated,” Boston Mayor Thomas Menino told the local Fox News affiliate in an interview early Tuesday.Monday evening, the Boston Police Department sent a tweet to @Occupy_Boston: “The BPD respects your right to protest peacefully. We ask for your ongoing cooperation.”Protesters’ tents have been set up in Dewey Square Park in downtown Boston all month, but on Monday expanded to a larger section of the nearby Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. Many linked arms Monday evening in a show of solidarity on their expanded turf.Boston earlier saw one of its biggest rallies so far in a movement that began in New York last month to protest against perceived Wall Street excesses and other social issues and has spread to cities across the nation. Hundreds of protesters, including many college students, marched in support of Occupy Boston.Protests across the country have objected to what they see as an unacceptable income gap between rich and poor. They also have complained about the Wall Street bailout in 2008, which they say aided banks while average Americans suffered under high unemployment and job insecurity.In fliers handed out on site in Boston, and in a press release, the police told protesters: “if asked to leave an area, please do so peacefully.”Police said officers would arrest those knowingly in violation of the law “if necessary.” They also warned protesters they would use video cameras to record any disorderly behavior.In return, protesters urged their followers to call police and the fire department to express support for Occupy Boston and “come down to Dewey Square right now!”