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S&P Upgrades S. Korea To A-Plus Rating

Standard & Poor's upgraded South Korea's sovereign credit rating from A to A-plus Friday, citing stability on the Korean peninsula and the resilience of Asia's fourth-largest economy.

It was the ratings agency's first upgrade for South Korea in seven years and followed similar moves in the past few weeks by Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings.

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Germany Seeks To Calm Fears About Euro Rescue Fund, Ecb

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Friday sought to allay fears that Europe's top economy would have to pick up the tab if other countries could not pay their share of the eurozone's rescue fund.

Speaking to Deutschlandfunk public radio, Schaeuble said that if a member country could not stump up its proportion of the cash for the massive 500-billion-euro firewall known as the ESM, then Germany -- already Europe's effective paymaster -- would not be left to pay the difference.

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EADS-BAE Launch Merger Drive to Redraw Global Aerospace Map

European aerospace giants EADS and BAE Systems are driving to re-draw the global battlefield for the booming aircraft market, with a tie-up boosting EADS in the U.S. and creating a defence and civil aircraft behemoth.

EADS controls airliner maker Airbus and has interests in defence and space industries.

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London Mansion For Sale For Record £300 Mn

A mansion overlooking London's Hyde Park that belonged to late Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri is on sale for a British record £300 million ($484 million, 372 million euros), a report said Thursday.

If it meets its asking price the seven-storey, 45-bedroom home would more than double the previous British house price record of £140 million, the Financial Times said.

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Spain Injects 4.5 Bn Euros Into Bankia

Spain has made a 4.5-billion-euro ($5.7- billion) non-cash injection into Bankia, a money-losing, state-rescued lender at the heart of the nation's financial crisis.

Madrid moved urgently to shore up Bankia's depleted coffers, delivering the capital as an advance payment on a eurozone banking rescue loan of up to 100 billion euros that was agreed in June.

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EU Finance Ministers Gather As Gloom Lifts

EU finance ministers can afford a more relaxed approach at meetings this weekend in Cyprus as the bloc puts in place the key elements needed to ease the crippling three-year eurozone debt crisis.

The two-day informal talks in Cyprus follow a major breakthrough Wednesday when Germany's top court cleared the way for German ratification of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and a fiscal pact tightening up the rules.

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German Inflation above ECB Limit in August

Rising energy prices pushed inflation in Germany, Europe's top economy, above the threshold set by the European Central Bank in August, official data showed on Wednesday.

Inflation stood at 2.1 percent year-on-year last month, national statistics office Destatis said in a statement, slightly revising higher its initial estimate made on August 29.

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Samsung Starts To Build $7bn Chip Plant in China

South Korea's Samsung Electronics said Wednesday it had started building a new $7 billion chip plant in the Chinese city of Xian -- its biggest-ever investment in the country.

The plant, scheduled to come on line in 2014, will produce the advanced 10-nanometre-class NAND flash memory chips used for devices such as smartphones and computers, the firm said in a statement on ground-breaking day.

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Strikes Hit Greece As Officials Struggle to Finalize Cuts

A barrage of strikes hit Greece on Wednesday as the government struggled to finalize a new austerity package with international creditors and sought to jumpstart a privatization drive delayed for months.

Teachers, hospital doctors and municipal staff kicked off separate protests against planned cutbacks and job losses as civil servants and security staff prepared to demonstrate later in the day.

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Portugal Wins Crisis Reprieve Ahead of German Court Decision

Bailed out Portugal won a precious reprieve from its creditors Tuesday, a day before a crucial court decision in Germany that could bring a painful end to a summertime lull in the eurozone debt crisis.

The EU and IMF agreed to relax Portugal's deficit targets for 2012 and 2013, rewarding the Portuguese for pushing through reforms and drawing a marked contrast with the little patience shown by creditors to Greece.

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