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Kuwait to Raise Oil Output Capacity to 3.4 mn bpd by 2015

Kuwait plans to raise its oil production capacity by 150,000 barrels per day to 3.4 million bpd by mid-2015, a top oil executive in the oil-rich Gulf state said Tuesday.

"(Kuwait's) current production capacity is 3.25 million bpd. We plan to add another 150,000 bpd by mid-2015," said Hashim Hashim, the chief executive officer of Kuwait Oil Company, which is responsible for exploration and production.

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Kuwait Zain Telecom Secures $800 mn Loan Facility

Kuwaiti telecoms giant Zain said on Tuesday it has secured a syndicated revolving credit facility of $800 million (580 million euros) from 11 international and regional banks for general corporate use.

France's Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank acted as coordinator and the facility agent for the loan, it said.

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Moscow Stock Markets Open Higher after Monday's Plunge

Moscow's stock markets opened more than three percent higher on Tuesday after plunging over 10 percent the day before in reaction to Russia's military intervention into Ukraine.

By around 0620 GMT, Moscow's MICEX bourse had risen by 3.20 percent while the other main Russian market, the RTS, had risen by 3.30 percent. In the opening minutes they had risen by more than four percent.

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Survey: Singapore World's Costliest City

The soaring cost of cars and utilities as well as a strong currency have made Singapore the world's most expensive city, toppling Tokyo from the top spot, according to a survey Tuesday.

Tokyo's weakening yen saw it slide to sixth place, the position previously occupied by Singapore, in the 2014 Worldwide Cost of Living survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

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Italy Economy Shrank 1.9% in 2013 but Deficit Within EU Limit

Italy's economy shrank by 1.9 percent in 2013 but its public deficit stayed within the European Union's limit of 3.0 percent of GDP in mixed news for the country's new government, official figures showed Monday.

The contraction -- which followed a shrinkage of 2.5 percent in 2012 -- was slightly more than the government's forecast of 1.8 percent, the National Statistics Institute (ISTAT) said.

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Russia Central Bank in Surprise Rate Hike Amid Ukraine Crisis

Russia's central bank on Monday raised its main interest rate to 7.0 percent from 5.50 percent in a surprise move that came as concerns mounted over the consequences of intervention in Ukraine for the Russian economy.

The Bank Rossii (Bank of Russia) said the hike would take effect from 0700 GMT Monday and implied the decision was aimed at limiting the knock-on economic effects of the Ukraine crisis.

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Indonesia Trade in Deficit on Mineral Export Ban

Indonesia swung to a trade deficit in January as a controversial government ban on mineral ore shipments by Southeast Asia's biggest economy crimped overall exports, data showed Monday.

The January deficit of $431 million compared to a $1.5 billion surplus in December, the official Statistics Agency said.

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G7 Promises Robust Aid for Ukraine

The finance ministers of the world's top industrialized countries promised a firm aid package to Ukraine on Sunday, while calling for reform and a central role by the International Monetary Fund.

Earlier, leaders of the countries symbolically billed themselves as the "G7," saying Russia's actions were incompatible with the Group of Eight Nations, which Moscow joined in 1997, and withdrew from preparations for June's G8 summit in Sochi.

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Gazprom Warns Ukraine Over 'Huge' Debt of $1.55 bn

Ukraine owes Russian gas giant Gazprom a "huge" debt of $1.55 bn for unpaid gas and may not be able to keep the discount it currently enjoys for Russian gas imports, the firm said on Saturday.

"We have good relations with Ukraine, the transit is working, but they just need to pay for the gas. The debt is $1.549 billion, it is huge," Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told the RIA Novosti news agency.

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Govt: China Manufacturing Growth Slows to 8-Month Low

China's manufacturing growth fell to an eight-month low in February, government figures showed on Saturday, reflecting further weakening in the world's second-largest economy but also the effect of a major holiday.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) tumbled to 50.2, the National Bureau of Statistics reported on its website, in the third straight drop from 50.5 in January, 51.0 in December and 51.4 in November.

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