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Aramco Says to Boost Refining Capacity By 50%

Saudi Arabia's state oil giant Aramco will raise its refining capacity by 50 percent to above six million barrels a day by expanding at home and abroad, chief executive Khalid al Falih said Tuesday.

Work was progressing on two new refineries in the kingdom, he told a meeting in Seoul.

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Nintendo Announces New Console But Profit Dives

Nintendo said Monday it would release a new console next year to succeed its popular Wii, as it reported earnings slumped due to the strong yen and its 3D handheld player came too late to give a lift.

The video game giant said the new machine would be showcased at E3 Expo in Los Angeles in June. The move comes as Nintendo has struggled to reverse its sliding fortunes in an increasingly crowded market.

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Asian Oil Prices Soar amid Arab Chaos

Oil was up in Asian trade as escalating tensions in Libya, Syria, and Yemen heightened fears of supply disruption in the Middle East and North African region Agence France Presse reported on Monday.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, rose 36 cents to $112.65 a barrel, while Brent North Sea crude for June gained 24 cents to $124.23 in the afternoon.

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Groupon Bargain Service Appoints Ex-Google Execuctive

Online bargain hunter Groupon announced the appointment of former Google executive Margo Georgiadis on Thursday, saying she would oversee global sales, marketing and operations.

"Margo is a strong leader with a passion for helping small business owners and consumers," Groupon CEO Andrew Mason said in a statement. "We’re thrilled to have her on our team."

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Airbus Says it Beats Crisis Cost-Cutting Targets

Airbus has made even bigger savings than expected when it launched cuts in the midst of crisis in 2007 and remains competitive despite the rise of the euro, the company which makes airliners said on Friday.

Senior director Fabrice Bregier told the Les Echos newspaper that "the targets have been well exceeded", and that the so-called Power 8 program had enabled the company to save "2.5 billion euros ($3.65 billion), which means as much extra profit, and 10 billion euros in cash."

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Toyota Says Production Back to Normal By Year-End

Toyota said Friday it expects global production to ramp up again by mid-year and return to normal by the end of 2011 after Japan's quake-tsunami disaster caused auto parts shortages.

Many key component manufacturers in Japan are based in the worst-hit northeast regions, where facilities were damaged by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake on March 11 or inundated by the giant wave that followed.

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Dollar Tumbles on Upbeat Stock Markets

The dollar was heavily sold across the board in Asian trade on Thursday as upbeat stock markets gave investors a renewed appetite for risk, dealers said.

As equity markets around the globe rebounded from big losses earlier in the week caused by Standard & Poor's outlook downgrade for U.S debt dealer sentiment also rose, although Washington's debt problems also played at role.

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Nokia's Market Share Falls Below 30 Percent

Nokia Corp. reported better than expected first quarter profits Thursday despite confirming that its market share around the world dropped below 30 percent for the first time in over a decade, as the world's top cellphone maker continued to lose ground to its rivals.

Though the Finnish company said its net profit for the quarter fell euro5 million to euro344 million ($499 million) a year earlier, the markets were impressed by the news that operating profit only fell 14 percent during the period instead of the anticipated 40 percent decline.

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Apple Nearly Doubles Net Profit, iPad Sales Dip

Apple nearly doubled its quarterly net profit on strong demand for the iPhone as sales of its iPad tablet computer dipped sharply.

Apple said Wednesday that net profit rose 95 percent in the second quarter of its fiscal year to $5.99 billion while revenue rose 83 percent to $24.67 billion, beating the expectations of Wall Streets analysts.

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Gold Tops $1,500 for First Time

The price of gold topped $1,500 for the first time on Wednesday as a weaker dollar plus fears over high inflation and debt attracted investors into the traditional safe-haven precious metal.

Gold reached $1,505.65 an ounce at 0945 GMT on the London Bullion Market. It later traded at $1,503.60.

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