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U.S. Backs New IMF Loan to Greece

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has thrown Washington's support behind the new austerity measures agreed by Greece and said the U.S. backed the idea of a new IMF loan for Athens.

"We welcome the program of economic reforms agreed to by the prime minister of Greece and the coalition parties, and the public statement of support from the major economies of Europe," Geithner said in a statement Sunday.

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Kuwait to Post Record Income, Surplus

OPEC member Kuwait was forecast Sunday to post its largest revenues and budget surplus ever this current fiscal year on the back of high oil prices and production, a local economic report said.

Revenues of the oil-rich Gulf state in the 2011/2012 fiscal year, which ends March 31, are expected to top $100 billion for the first time, ending between $101 billion and $104 billion, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) said.

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World Bank to Select New President by April 20

The World Bank said Friday it would select a new president to succeed Robert Zoellick by April 20, the start of the World Bank and IMF's spring meetings in Washington.

But even as the huge development lender set out what it said would be "a merit-based and transparent process" to choose its 12th head from among candidates from around the world, it appeared all but certain to be filled by an American.

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Obama Says U.S. on Track to Doubling Exports

U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday his administration was headed toward fulfilling its commitment of doubling U.S. exports over five years and promised to reward businesses that created jobs at home with tax breaks.

"Two years ago, I set a goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years," the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address. "And we're on track to meet that goal - ahead of schedule."

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Trial Opens in $2.6 bn Iran Banking Fraud Case

The trial in a $2.6 billion dollar banking fraud case that the Iranian media describe as the country's biggest ever opened on Saturday with some of the 32 accused facing possible death sentences.

The accused were charged with involvement in taking bribes and financial corruption, Iranian media reported.

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Egypt 'Promises Fuel' for Gaza Power Plant

Egypt has promised to provide diesel fuel for the Gaza Strip's sole power plant, which went down this week after running out of fuel, a Gaza official said on Saturday.

"Following our contacts with Egyptian officials, there have been serious promises to furnish us fuel from tomorrow (Sunday)," said Ahmad Abu al-Amrin, from the Gaza energy authority.

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Germany, Greece, Italy to Hold Talks on Debt Crisis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos will hold a conference call on Friday to discuss the sovereign debt crisis, Italy said.

"On the initiative of Prime Minister Monti, the three-way phone conversation will take place today in the late morning," the government said in a statement.

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Germany Sees 'Solid Basis' for Greek Aid Decision Monday

Germany expects Eurozone finance ministers to take a decision on aid for debt-wracked Greece on Monday, a spokesman said, but stressed some details remained over the efforts Athens still needs to make.

"We are coming ever closer to a final basis for a decision on Monday but, as you know from the statement of Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker, there are still details to be cleared up," said a finance ministry spokesman.

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Oil Hits 8-Month Highs in London

Brent oil prices hit an eight-month high on Friday, driven by simmering geopolitical tensions over key crude producer Iran and optimism the Greek debt crisis can be resolved, traders said.

Brent North Sea crude for April delivery hit $120.70 per barrel, its highest point since June 14. It later pulled back to $119.84, down 27 cents from Thursday's closing level.

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Spain Clothes Chain Mango Expands to Sri Lanka

Spanish high-street clothing chain Mango has opened its first store in Sri Lanka, expanding its worldwide presence to a total of 106 countries, it said on Friday.

"Mango is pursuing its international expansion and staying true to its aim of being present in each of the main cities in the world with the opening of its first store in Sri Lanka," in the capital Colombo, it said in a statement.

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