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Report: Banks Set to Double Borrowing from ECB

European banks plan to borrow at least twice as much money from the European Central Bank as they did in December, the Financial Times reported Tuesday, a sign of further stress in the sector.

"Several of the Eurozone’s biggest banks told the Financial Times that they could double or triple their request for funds" when the ECB makes its second round of exceptional three-year loans on February 29, the report said.

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Turkey's Official Trade Deficit Widens in 2011

Turkey's trade deficit widened by 47.7 percent in 2011 as both exports and imports increased, official data showed on Tuesday.

The gap reached 105.8 billion dollars (80.2 billion euros) from 71.6 billion dollars in 2010, the state statistics institute said.

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Tokyo Stocks Edge Up as Euro Rises against Yen

Tokyo stocks added 0.11 percent Tuesday as investor fears over the yen's strength slightly eased and they welcomed better-than-expected industrial output data for December.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 9.46 points to 8,802.51. The Topix index lost 1.74 points or 0.23 percent to 755.27.

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India Mulls Using Rupee to Pay for Iran Oil Imports

India said Monday it may use its own currency, the rupee, to pay for oil imports from Iran in the face of a U.S.-led sanctions campaign aimed at forcing Tehran to abandon its nuclear programme.

India has said it will continue to import oil from Iran, joining China in refusing to bow to intensifying U.S. pressure not to do business with Iran.

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Japan's Fujifilm Seeks Tie-Up with Olympus

Japanese film and camera maker Fujifilm has offered scandal-hit Olympus a capital and business tie-up, it said Monday as it announced a slump in third-quarter profits.

Fujifilm said it has formally proposed a link-up to Olympus' advisors, seeing synergies in the pair's medical operations, although it did not reveal details.

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EU Fiscal Pact Under Fire Before it Even Exists

Already dismissed as a "waste of time" and "harmful" by two foreign ministers, the "fiscal compact" that EU leaders hope to conclude at a summit Monday has run into criticism before even being agreed.

The German-led accord, designed as a tighter set of budgetary rules to beef up the ailing and much-infringed Stability and Growth Pact, was set to be agreed by 26 EU leaders later Monday, with Britain remaining on the sidelines.

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More Than Two Years of Crisis in The Eurozone

December: The three main credit ratings agencies, Fitch, Standard & Poor's and Moody's, downgrade Greece's debt. Prime Minister George Papandreou outlines massive public spending cuts.

-- 2010 --

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Jordan Hikes Electricity Price after Egypt Gas Cut

Jordan said on Monday it will raise electricity prices this week by between nine and 17 percent to offset losses caused by cut-offs in Egyptian gas supplies.

"An increase between nine to 17 percent will be imposed from Wednesday on consumers who use more 600 kilowatt/hour per month," said the Electricity Regulatory Commission.

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Iran Oil Boss Cautious on Impact of EU Embargo

The National Iranian Oil Company has no firm projection of the impact on world crude prices of a looming EU embargo on Iranian exports, its managing director said in comments published on Saturday.

Ahmad Qalebani told the government newspaper Iran that the size of any hike in prices would depend on the European Union's success in finding alternative output to make up for Iranian deliveries lost to the market.

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Cyprus Finance Ministry: Banks Won't Need Gov't Help

Cyprus' Finance Ministry says it's confident that the island's banks will be able to recapitalize on their own and won't need government support.

The ministry says Cyprus' economy has "strong foundations" and adds that it will soon unveil a growth-oriented package of measures that it's preparing in partnership with the private sector.

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