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Moody's Downgrades Jordan Two Notches

Ratings agency Moody's cuts its sovereign grade for Jordan by two notches Wednesday, saying government finances had weakened sharply in the past two years.

The rating fell to B1 from Ba2, in the middle of its category for "speculative" or so-called junk debt.

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EU Agrees New Bank Rescue Rules to Spare Taxpayers

European finance ministers on Thursday agreed a deal on new rules to shift the burden for future bank rescues from taxpayers to the financial sector in a bid to quell public anger over massive bailouts in recent years.

The measures, which still have to be adopted by the European Parliament, will force bank owners and bond holders firstly and then depositors with more than 100,000 euros ($130,000) to bear the losses.

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Myanmar to Announce Telecom Licence Winners

Some of the world's biggest phone giants will find out Thursday which two have won telecoms licences in Myanmar, an official said Thursday, ahead of an expected boom for the sector as the country embarks on a reform drive.

The tender was launched in the hope of quickly increasing mobile coverage across the country where less than 10 percent of the population having access to a telephone.

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EU Ministers Hold Crunch Talks on Bank Rescues

EU finance ministers began talks in Brussels on Wednesday aimed at agreeing rules on future bank rescues -- a sensitive issue in efforts to prevent another eurozone debt crisis.

Marathon talks between the finance ministers last week ended with no deal and the latest negotiations come on the eve of a summit of EU leaders where an agreement would be formalized.

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British Finance Minister to Announce Big Spending Cuts

Finance minister George Osborne will on Wednesday confirm plans to further slash Britain's state spending, with the government insistent on sticking to a path of austerity despite a fragile economic recovery.

Osborne, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, will outline details of cuts to spending totaling £11.5 billion ($17.7 billion, 13.6 billion euros) for the country's 2015-16 financial year, which follows Britain's next general election in two years' time.

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Spain's Recession Easing: Central Bank

Spain's job-destroying recession is set to ease in the second quarter of 2013 as activity improves, the Bank of Spain said Wednesday, adding its voice to an optimistic chorus emerging from the government.

The central bank saw light ahead for Spain, wallowing since 2011 in a double-dip recession, which has pushed the unemployment rate to towering record of more than 27 percent.

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Study: Investors Less Willing to Bet on Emerging Markets

Plans by the U.S. Federal Reserve to wind down its monetary stimulus and slower growth prospects in emerging markets will lead to a reduction in the inflow of private capital to these countries, the Institute of International Finance said Wednesday.

"Investors have become increasingly concerned about the market impact of the Fed's exit from accommodative monetary conditions, particularly against the backdrop of slower growth in key emerging economies," IIF Executive Managing Director Hung Tran said in a statement.

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S. Korea to Sell Largest Banking Group in Three Pieces

South Korea has decided to split the assets of Woori Finance Holdings into three groups in its fourth bid to sell its majority stake in the nation's largest banking group, regulators said Wednesday.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) said the sell off would begin with two regional banks, followed by the group's brokerage unit and related affiliates, and finally the flagship Woori Bank.

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SAS Plans to Buy 12 New Aircraft from Airbus

Scandinavian airline SAS says it plans to order 12 new planes from Airbus in a deal valued at $3.3 billion at list prices.

SAS said Tuesday it has signed a memorandum of understanding — short of a firm order — for eight A350 and four A330 planes as part of a renewal of its long-haul fleet.

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Top Banker: 'Feral Hogs' of Market Will not Break Fed

The "feral hogs" of the financial markets will not sway the U.S. Federal Reserve from scaling back its bond-buying program when it deems the time to be right, a leading central banker told Tuesday's Financial Times.

Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve and a member of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee, said that recent market volatility following central bank chief Ben Bernanke's suggestion that he may wind down the $85 billion-a-month bond purchases reminded him of Britain's 1992 currency crisis.

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