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EU to Unfreeze Egyptian, Tunisian Assets

The European Union announced Monday it was lifting its asset freeze on Egyptian and Tunisian funds, imposed as sanctions before the countries' strongmen rulers were ousted in the Arab Spring uprisings.

The EU's council of ministers said it had taken steps to "facilitate the return of misappropriated funds to the Egyptian and Tunisian authorities" now that Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had been replaced by elected governments.

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Iran Plans New Oil Storage, Airline Hikes Fares

Iran is planning to build new oil storage facilities so it can store more of the fuel it is having a hard time selling due to Western sanctions over its disputed nuclear program.

State-run Press TV quoted Mahmoud Zirakchianzadeh, Director of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company, as saying nearly 8.1 million barrels will be added to Iran's crude oil storage capacity by the next summer.

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Salameh Opens London Stock Exchange’s Markets, Takes Part Lebanon Capital Market Day

Central Bank Governor Riyad Salameh opened on Monday the London Stock Exchange markets as part of his trip to England to take part in the Lebanon Capital Market Day conference.

He said at the event: “This development helps highlight the special investment opportunities that Lebanon provides.”

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UBS Punished with Double Whammy Over Rogue Trader

Swiss banking giant UBS was hit twice over on Monday for allowing a rogue trader to commit massive fraud, with British regulators imposing a nearly $50-million fine and Switzerland banning its investment bank from staging takeovers.

In yet another black mark for Swiss banking, regulators in Britain and Switzerland moved fast to punish UBS for failing to stop rogue trader Kweky Adoboli, who was sentenced last week to seven years behind bars in Britain for gambling away $2.3 billion (1.8 billion euros).

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Amazon Announces Investment in France, Sees 2,500 Jobs

The U.S. Internet giant Amazon said on Monday that it would open a fourth dispatch center in France with the likely creation of 2,500 jobs, as it negotiates a tax dispute with the French government.

The facility would improve the handling of orders from customers in northern France but also in Europe and the world, Amazon said.

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Could Spain Survive Loss of Catalonia?

Catalonia's leader Artur Mas says the powerful region's economy can stand tall in Europe without Spain. But could Spain survive without Catalonia?

The prospect of an independent Catalonia of 7.5 million people lying to the northeast of Spain seems distant with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government vowing to block any referendum.

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U.S. Breaks $1bn in Online Black Friday Sales for First Time

U.S. shoppers spent heavily online on the crucial Black Friday shopping day, for the first time topping a billion dollars in online sales in a single day, analysts and retailers said.

The four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend is the kickoff to the U.S. holiday shopping season, and Black Friday has long been considered the critical day that turns retailers' books from red to black.

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Cairo Shares Plunge 9% as Political Crisis Deepens

Share prices on the Egypt Exchange declined almost 9.5 percent by midday (1000 GMT) on Sunday, after President Mohamed Morsi assumed sweeping powers that sparked clashes and polarized the country's politics.

The main EGX-30 index shed 9.49 percent to reach 4,923.19 points, according to the Egyptian Exchange.

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Dubai Plans New 'City', World's Largest Mall

Dubai, famed for its mega-projects before it was hit by the global financial crisis, on Saturday announced a new development to open the world's biggest mall and a park larger than London's Hyde Park.

The ruler of the Gulf desert city state, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, announced the plan for a "new city within Dubai," according to an official statement, naming it after himself.

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India's Finance Minister Sees 5.5% Quarterly Growth

India's economy logged around 5.5 percent growth in the last financial quarter, the finance minister estimated on Saturday -- a rate that could boost calls for lower interest rates to spur activity.

India's once-booming economy has been hit by high interest rates, Europe's debt crisis that has slowed exports, and sluggish investment caused by domestic and overseas concerns about policy and corruption.

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