SYDNEY - Asian shares opened cautiously higher on Friday with Tokyo's Nikkei steadying from its biggest one-day drop in two years as investors breathed a sigh of relief when Wall Street cut losses on an upbeat outlook from Hewlett-Packard.
FRANKFURT - New solar installations reached a fresh record of 7.5 gigawatts (GW) in Germany in 2011, playing into the hands of advocates for steeper cuts in tariff subsidies to reduce growth of solar power and the resulting higher costs for consumers.
Belgium, France to own almost 96 percent of Dexia
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium and France are set to own almost 96 percent of Dexia (DEXI.BR), with the free float slipping to 1.9 percent, after the two nations agreed to keep the lender afloat with 5.5 billion euros ($7.0 billion) of fresh funds.
Dexia's board has approved the plan, which will now be put to an extraordinary shareholder meeting on December 21, saying the states would buy new preference shares at 0.19 euro apiece.
Belgium will pay 2.9 billion euros and France 2.6 billion. Combined, they will receive 28.95 billion new preference shares.
There are currently about 1.95 billion outstanding shares, with Belgium and France already both holding stakes of 5.7 percent. French state bank Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC) is the largest shareholder with 17.6 percent and CNP Assurances, a CDC subsidiary, 3.0 percent.
The existing free float is 30.4 percent and it will drop to 1.9 percent after the capital injection.
The deal needs to be approved by European Union regulators. ($1 = 0.7856 euro) (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop)
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