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Amazon Buys Mideast's after $800M Counteroffer

Amazon purchased the Middle East's biggest online retailer on Tuesday for an undisclosed amount, a day after a state-backed firm disclosed an $800 million counteroffer.

A joint statement described the purchase as expanding Amazon's influence into the Mideast as the chairman of the state-supported firm Emaar prepares to launch his own retail website in a country known more for its luxury malls than online shopping.

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Saudi to Set Up $3bn Joint Investment Fund for Jordan

Saudi Arabia is to set up a $3 billion joint investment fund for Jordan, among 15 cooperation agreements signed by King Salman during a visit to Amman, state media said Tuesday.

Other agreements include measures to boost power generation, tackle worsening water shortages, and improve housing and health services, Jordan's official Petra news agency said.

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Russia's Largest Bank Pulls out of Ukraine

Russia's Sberbank, the largest in the country, on Tuesday announced it had sold its Ukraine division, where operations have been complicated since Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

Sberbank, whose controlling stake is owned by the Russian state, said in a statement Tuesday that it had signed a deal with a "consortium of investors" including Latvia's Norvik Banka and a Belarusian private company. 

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Saudi, Jordan Sign Deal on $3 Billion in Jordan Investments

Jordan's state media say public and private sector officials from Saudi Arabia and Jordan have signed 15 economic agreements, including establishing a joint fund that will launch an estimated $3 billion worth of investments in Jordan.

The Petra news agency says the agreements were signed after a meeting late Monday between Saudi King Salman and Jordan's King Abdullah II.

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Saudi Cuts Taxes on Oil Firms ahead of Aramco Sale

Saudi Arabia on Monday cut taxes on oil companies in a major move that could attract investments in its energy giant Aramco, expected to be offered to investors in 2018. 

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Oxfam Exposes Tax Haven Habits of EU Big Banks

The twenty biggest banks in the eurozone booked over a quarter of their 2015 profits in tax havens, with Luxembourg and Ireland the favorite destinations, a report by Oxfam said on Monday.

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Dubai's Emaar Malls Rivals Amazon with $800m Bid

Dubai's Emaar Malls has offered $800 million to buy, the Middle East's largest online retailer, it said Monday, challenging a reported offer by global giant Amazon. 

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First Warning Signs Appear for UK's Resilient Economy

Britain's economy has for months defied the cataclysmic predictions made by campaigners for staying in the EU ahead of last year's referendum but its smooth run shows signs of hitting the skids.

As Britain begins the delicate process of extracting itself from the European Union, headwinds are expected for the economy even though the forecast financial storm has so far failed to materialise.

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German Business Morale Hits Five-and-a-Half Year High

German business confidence rose to its highest level in more than five and a half years in March, a regular survey showed Monday, beating analysts' forecasts for a slight decline. 

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Britain Prepares to Launch Brexit

Britain will take an unprecedented step into the unknown on Wednesday with the first formal move towards leaving the European Union, starting a two-year process that has already divided the country.

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