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Qantas Delays Two A380 Deliveries Slashing $410 mn

Embattled carrier Qantas said Friday it will delay the delivery of two A380 superjumbos as part of a further Aus$400 million (U.S.$410 million) in spending cuts as it works to turn its business around.

The Australian airline had already announced Aus$500 million in cuts in February, which included job losses for cabin crew and pilots as well as in catering, engineering and ground operations.

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BMW Profit up 18 Percent on China, U.S.

Booming sales in China and new versions of key models pushed automaker BMW AG's earnings higher by 18 percent in the first quarter to €1.35 billion ($1.77 billion).

Sales were flat in Europe where the economy is slack, but the Munich-based maker of luxury cars and SUVs saw a 36 percent jump in deliveries in China, where it now sells more vehicles than it does in the United States.

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Dubai Shipyard Firm Could Build Underwater Hotels

Dubai is splashing into the business of underwater hotels again.

The Gulf emirate's state shipbuilding division Drydocks World said in a statement on Thursday that it has signed on with a Swiss company to become the sole Middle East construction contractor of the futuristic hotels.

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Lufthansa Reveals 3,500 Job Cuts in Draconian Cost-Saving

Germany's top airline Lufthansa said on Thursday that it intended to shed 3,500 administrative jobs in the next few years as part of a radical cost-cutting program.

The unprecedently steep cuts were intended to reduce administrative costs by a quarter, the airline said in a statement.

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U.S. Urges China to Allow Yuan Rise, Speed Reforms

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Thursday urged China to allow its currency to strengthen further and push forward economic reforms, which he said were crucial to the global recovery.

But his comments at the start of two-day talks between the world's two biggest economies were overshadowed by a human rights row that has threatened already strained relations.

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Yemen to Ask for $10 Billion from Donors

Yemen will ask donors for about $10 billion in urgent aid at a "Friends of Yemen" meeting to be held in the Saudi capital later this month, the country's planning minister said on Wednesday.

"We are talking about $10 billion that we will need for economic recovery, to stabilize the economy and the currency," Mohammed Said al-Saadi told AFP on the sidelines of a donors conference in Sanaa.

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IMF: Syria Economy to See 'Significant' Contraction in 2012

Syria's economy is expected to contract significantly in 2012 due to 14 months of violence and sanctions, a top official at the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

"We do expect contraction in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) this year," the head of the IMF's Middle East, North Africa, Gulf and Central Asia Department, Masood Ahmed, told Agence France Presse, adding that the drop is poised to be "significant".

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Iran Denies Sharp Cut in Oil Exports to China, Japan

Iran's state-run oil company is denying that China and Japan had sharply cut imports of Iranian crude, maintaining Tehran's assertions that economic sanctions imposed by the West were having little effect.

Mohsen Qamsari, international affairs director of the National Iranian Oil Co, told the Mehr news agency that exports to China "have not decreased at all" and that "all of the contracts between Japanese refineries and NIOC have been extended until the end of the year."

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Zoellick: Europe Reforms 'Hard' Without Growth

World Bank president Robert Zoellick said Tuesday that Europe would struggle to achieve needed economic reforms without growth to support them.

"I think right now Europe depends on what happens with Italy and Spain," Zoellick said in a CNBC television interview.

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Ford, GM Sales Skid as Chrysler, Toyota Accelerate

General Motors and Ford saw their U.S. sales skid in April as rivals Chrysler, Toyota and Volkswagen posted strong gains, industry data showed Tuesday.

Total industry sales rose 2.3 percent from a year ago, while the sales pace was unchanged from March at a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of 14.4 million vehicles, according to Autodata.

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