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China Ascends To Number Two on Fortune 500

Two years after eclipsing Japan as the world's second-largest economy, China on Monday stole the number-two spot on the Fortune 500 list of the biggest global companies from its Asian rival.

In its annual revenue rankings, Fortune magazine said that China overtook Japan for the first time, landing 73 companies on the list compared with Japan's 68 companies.

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Eurozone Offers Spain 30 bn Euros for Banks

Eurozone finance ministers agreed Tuesday to offer Spain 30 billion euros this month to help its distressed banks as they raced to stay ahead of market skepticism.

After nine hours of talks, Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg premier who also heads the Euro group , said a memorandum of understanding for Spain would be formally signed "in the second half of July," with 30 billion euros ($37 billion) available by the end of the month.

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IMF Chief Says Rise in Protectionism 'Alarming'

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Tuesday that signs of increased protectionism amid deteriorating global economic conditions were "alarming", and warned such measures affect everyone.

"The latest report by the WTO (World Trade Organization) is quite alarming because there is a rise of protectionism," she said at a business forum in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

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Report: Eurozone to Force Spain Banks to Boost Core Capital

Eurozone finance ministers will oblige Spain's battered banks to further boost the share of rock-solid core capital on their books at a meeting Monday, the daily El Pais said.

"All Spanish entities will have to raise their high quality 'core capital' to nine percent," the daily said, citing European sources with knowledge of the negotiations.

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Italy's GDP Will Shrink Around 2% in 2012

Italy's economy will shrink by around two percent this year, the head of the Italian central bank said Sunday, as he called for adopting a "new Italian spirit" to tackle the Eurozone debt crisis.

"Consensus forecasts indicate the GDP (gross domestic product) will shrink around 2.0 percent," Ignazio Visco said in an interview with the Corriere della Sera, revising down an earlier forecast.

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Kuwait's Zain Faces Iraq Fine for Not Listing

Kuwait's Zain telecom said Sunday its Iraqi unit has been fined $12,877 a day since September 1 for failing to list on the bourse but will seek to have the penalty that has reached $4 million scrapped.

"Iraq Zain has received a notification from the Communications and Media Commission stipulating a fine of $12,887 a day for delaying the listing of the company on Iraq Stock Exchange," Zain said in a statement.

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Boeing Set For Farnborough Fight Back

Boeing is set to steal a march over European rival Airbus at the Farnborough airshow which starts Monday, with the U.S. plane maker set to secure significant orders for its 737 MAX jet.

Boeing, which is lagging behind Airbus' in the short-haul plane market owing to big orders for the latter's new fuel-efficient A320neo, is expected to hit back at the biennial Farnborough event near London, analysts said.

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Iraq Kurds Begin Sending Oil to Turkey without Baghdad Consent

Iraqi Kurdistan has begun sending oil produced in its three-province autonomous region out of the country without the express permission of the central government, an official said on Sunday.

The central government in Baghdad, meanwhile, insisted that it reserved the sole right to export oil, which accounts for the lion's share of the country's income and is at the center of a dispute between the capital and Kurdistan.

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Kuwait Airways Grounds Aging Planes

Kuwait Airways Corp. has decided to ground several ageing planes for repeated malfunctions, KAC chief Salem al-Othaina was quoted as saying in report on Sunday.

Othaina told Al-Rai newspaper that "initially three to five planes" would be grounded this week "in prelude to take new decisions to ground further aircraft."

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Donors to Pledge over $16 Bn for Afghanistan

Donors at a major development conference for Afghanistan will pledge total aid of more than $16 billion for four years to 2015, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said Saturday.

Japan, which will co-chair the one-day conference on Sunday with Afghanistan, will provide up to $3 billion for the five years to 2016, in addition to $1 billion for the war-torn nation's neighboring states, he said.

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