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Geithner: U.S. has 'Very Strong Interest' in EU Summit Succes

The United States has a "very strong interest" in a successful outcome from the European Union summit starting later on Thursday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said during a visit to Italy.

"The U.S. and the world economy as a whole has a very strong interest in the success" of the summit, Geithner said following talks with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in Milan and after visits to France and Germany.

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Dubai Will Not Restructure Debt, Refinance a Possibility

The government of Dubai has quashed reports that it plans to restructure billions of dollars of maturing debt next year, but said that "refinancing" part of the debt was a "possibility."

"Reports about a plan by Dubai to restructure part of debt maturing in 2012 on government-related companies are untrue," head of the higher committee for financial policies Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said in a statement released late on Wednesday.

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U.S. Hits BP with Five Gulf Spill Violation Charges

U.S. regulators on Wednesday hit British oil giant BP with five more citations for violations of rules that led to the catastrophic Gulf oil spill.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a second list of violations regarding BP's operation of the Macondo well that blew out in April 2010, causing the worst maritime environmental disaster in history.

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IATA Says Airline Profits Set to Fall Sharply Next Year

Profits by airlines around the world are set to be far lower than previously forecast next year, the International Air Transport Association IATA said on Wednesday.

IATA, based in Geneva, said in a statement that it still estimated that airlines would make a total profit of $6.9 billion (5.1 billion euros) this year.

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OPEC Urges EU Not to Target Iran Oil, Says Libya Back to Full Production Soon

The head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Wednesday he hoped the EU would not press sanctions on Iran's "difficult to replace" oil exports, as he expected Libya to return to full pre-war oil production levels by mid-2012.

"I really hope there will not be an EU embargo on Iranian oil," OPEC Secretary General Abdullah El-Badri said at the World Petroleum Congress in Doha.

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Asian Markets Rise on Optimism over Europe Summit

Markets rose in Asia Wednesday on hopes that a meeting of European leaders will finally lead to a plan that will bring an end to the crippling Eurozone debt crisis.

Investors are holding their breath ahead of the two-day summit that starts on Thursday, with investors optimistic after France and Germany on Monday agreed a deal for further integration, which many see as the best solution.

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IMF Chief Calls for 'Inclusive' Growth in MENA Region

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Tuesday said economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa must include all members of society to fulfill the promise of the Arab Spring.

Lagarde, in a speech in Washington, said the Arab Spring that began a year ago in Tunisia was at a "delicate transition point" as the MENA region seeks to define its future.

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Thailand Floods to Cost Insurers $8-11B

Swiss Reinsurance Co. estimates the cost of Thailand's floods to the insurance industry will reach $8 billion to $11 billion.

The Swiss insurer puts its own costs from Thailand's worst floods in half a century at $600 million. The company sells backup coverage to other insurers, spreading risk in the event of huge losses.

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Good Rice Harvest Means Philippines to Import Less

The Philippines expects a good rice harvest in the next dry season and will import less as a result.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said at least 551,155 tons (500,000 metric tons) will be imported next year. The government will allow private traders to import half of the total volume and farmers' groups the remainder from Cambodia, Myanmar or Vietnam.

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UK Auditors Warn Olympic Budget is On the Edge

UK Olympic organizers run a risk of exceeding their 9.3 billion-pound ($14.6 billion) budget for hosting the 2012 London games and have little room left for unforeseen costs, Britain's spending watchdog warned Tuesday.

The National Audit Office report concluded that while the venues are on time and largely complete, "not everything is rosy." The report came as British Olympic officials announced that they had doubled the funding for security operations at venues, raising overall security costs for the 2012 Games to more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion).

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