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Iran's Return to the Fold Sparks Business Bonanza for Europe

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will Tuesday attend an Iran-Italy business forum before meeting Pope Francis, as the Islamic Republic rebuilds ties with the West and seals multi-billion dollar deals as sanctions against it are lifted.

Italian officials said contracts signed in Rome late Monday would be worth up to 17 billion euros ($18.4 billion), topped by a five-billion-euro deal for pipeline company Saipem, whose shares surged 18.5 percent in Milan on Monday.

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Crude Back Below $30 as Prices Extend Losses

Crude fell back below $30 a barrel in Asia Tuesday as worries about the global supply glut returned to the fore, following a two-day rebound.

After plunging to 12-year lows, prices soared late last week on hopes that plans for further economic stimulus measures in the eurozone and Japan would perk up demand.

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Electronics Giant Philips Posts 2015 Profit Up 55%

Dutch electronics giant Philips Tuesday unveiled solid net profits for last year, up 55 percent on 2014 driven by increased sales in its healthcare and lifestyle business.

Total net profit attributable to shareholders was 645 million euros ($700 million), with sales up to 24.2 billion euros amid rising orders in North America and Europe, the company said.

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Iran's Rouhani Says Peugeot, Renault Deals Possible on Europe Trip

Iran will probably sign contracts with automakers Peugeot and Renault, President Hassan Rouhani said Monday as he headed to Europe seeking to capitalise on Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

"Important contracts will probably be signed on this trip including with Peugeot and Renault," Rouhani told reporters at Mehrabad Airport before leaving Tehran, according to state television's website.

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Greece's Tsipras Vows to Implement Pension Reform at Anniversary Rally

Leftwing Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, at a rally Sunday to mark a year in power, stood by a vow to overhaul the country's pension system despite fierce opposition. 

Pension reform "must go ahead, it's necessary," Tsipras said in a speech before around 4,000 supporters in an Athens stadium.

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Oil Prices Extend Rise above $32 in Asia on Demand Hopes

Oil prices extended their rally in Asia Monday buoyed by hopes of extra stimulus measures in the eurozone and Japan that could help boost demand in the face of a global supply glut.

Prices ended on a buoyant note Friday, with the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for March delivery soaring nine percent to $32.19 a barrel, while Brent soared 10 percent to $32.18.

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Iran to Buy 114 Airbus Planes this Week

Iran will sign a contract this week to buy 114 Airbus planes from France, during a visit to Paris by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Tehran's transport minister said Sunday.

Abbas Akhoundi, quoted by Iranian media, said the deal "will be signed between Iran Air and Airbus" when Rouhani is in Paris on Wednesday on the final day of his first official European visit.

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Oil Wealth a Blessing, Energy Dependence a Curse for Russia's Economy

Abundant oil and gas deposits have been a blessing for Russia, but they now feel like a curse as low prices propel the country into a deep economic crisis that shows no signs of abating.

The ruble fell to a record dollar low this past week as global crude prices slumped to 12-year lows, highlighting at once Russia's vulnerability to changing oil prices and the fact President Vladimir Putin's government has squandered opportunities to diversify the economy.

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Missing from the White House Race: The Economy

As the U.S. presidential race picks up pace, the speeches and debates are full of character attacks, arguments on immigration and worries about national security.

But there is one glaring omission in the battle for the White House: serious talk about the economy.

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Disaster Insurers Tap Under-protected Emerging Markets

When an April 2015 earthquake ravaged Nepal, killing 9,000 people and destroying half a million homes, insurers say the money paid out to victims amounted to less than a tenth of that received by Americans hit by winter snowstorms earlier in the year.

The figures reveal a huge potential market yet to be tapped in the developing and emerging world, major insurers said at an annual four-day gathering of billionaires and the political and business elite in Davos, Switzerland, which wrapped up Saturday.

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