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Sri Lanka Raises $1 bn Abroad after Parliament Snub

Sri Lanka's new government raised nearly a billion dollars through its first overseas bond issue after parliament shot down plans to increase local borrowings, the country's central bank said Friday.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said $650 million was raised Thursday through a 10-year bond at an annual interest rate of 6.125 percent while the rest was through shorter tenure.

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G7 Ministers Meet on Global Growth Overshadowed by Greek Crisis

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Seven wealthiest nations gathered in Dresden Thursday to seek ways of boosting global growth, while the Greek crisis also cast its shadow over the talks. 

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had invited his counterparts from Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the United States for an "in-depth exchange of views" on a wide range of subjects, from the state of the global economy, to financial regulation, tax evasion, and ways of starving terror groups like the Islamic State of funding.

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UK Economic Growth Slows Sharply in Q1

Britain's economy faced a sharp slowdown in the first quarter of 2015, halving its growth rate from the previous three months, unrevised official data showed Thursday.

Gross domestic product expanded by 0.3 percent between January and March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed in a second estimate. That compared with 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2014

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Greek Pro-EU Party Pledges to Back Loan Deal

Greece's fourth-largest party, pro-EU To Potami, on Thursday pledged to back a new deal between the country and its creditors that could face a rocky ride through parliament.

"Whichever agreement comes to parliament, all To Potami lawmakers will vote for it, without haggling, because the country needs oxygen," party leader Stavros Theodorakis told Skai TV.

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Dollar Soars to More than 12-Year High against Yen

The dollar soared to its highest level against the yen in more than 12 years on Thursday, powered by expectations for a U.S. interest rate hike and more monetary easing from Japan's central bank.

The greenback briefly touched 124.30 yen in Tokyo midday trading, its highest level since late 2002, before settling back to 123.82 yen. That compares with 123.63 yen in New York late Wednesday.

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Etihad Profits up 52 Percent in 2014

Etihad Airways net profits surged by more than half in 2014 to $73 million, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier said Thursday, buoyed by increased passenger numbers and further expansion into the European market.

Revenue for the fast-growing carrier rose 26.7 percent to $7.6 billion, with net profits increasing 52.1 percent from $48 million in 2013, Etihad said in a statement.

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India Court Grants Greenpeace Access to Bank Accounts

A court in New Delhi on Wednesday ordered  authorities to unfreeze Greenpeace India's local bank accounts in a partial victory for the environmental campaigner in its ongoing battle against the government.

In an interim ruling, the High Court said Greenpeace could also receive local donations into those two accounts, handing the group a lifeline which would allow its operations to continue in India for now.

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EU-Swiss Accord to End Banking Secrecy, Curb Tax Evasion

The European Union and Switzerland signed a major accord Wednesday that will end banking secrecy for EU residents and prevent them from hiding undeclared income in Swiss banks, the European Commission said.

The agreement deals "another blow against tax evaders, and (represents) another leap towards fairer taxation in Europe," said Pierre Moscovici, the EU commissioner for tax issues.

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Dollar Near Eight-Year High against Yen

The dollar was sitting around eight-year highs against the yen Wednesday following upbeat U.S. data, while the euro came under further selling pressure over growing fears Greece will default on its debt obligations.

In Tokyo, the greenback bought 123.08 yen, little changed from 123.09 yen in New York, where it passed the 123.30 yen level at one point, its highest since mid-2007.

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Indebted Greece Seeks Small Change from Dormant Accounts

The Greek government, struggling to keep up its debt repayments,  announced on Tuesday that any dormant public sector accounts holding less than 100 euros ($109) should be emptied and the funds handed over to the central bank.

"It covers bank accounts which on March 15 held a total of 0-99 euros," the finance ministry said in a decree.

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