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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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HSBC: Soaring Oil Prices Stimulate Flow of Liquidity into Lebanese Market

The increase in regional oil prices will stimulate the flow of liquidity in the Lebanese banking sector and thus assign a good sum of money for infrastructure projects, said a chief banker.

“The banking sector is liquid enough to be a strategic partner in Lebanon’s growth,” Simon Cooper, deputy chairman and chief executive officer of HSBC in the MENA region, told The Daily Star in an interview published on Wednesday.

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Arab Forum for Environment and Development Concludes Consultation Meetings on Green Economy in Cairo, Beirut, Amman

The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) concluded Wednesday in Amman a series of consultation meetings to discuss the first draft of its upcoming report on an Arab Green Economy, due to be released in October 2011. The AFED report will address the transformations needed to achieve desired economic, social, and environmental sustainability goals in Arab countries. The report will address the enabling strategies and development policies for navigating a green transition in eight sectors: energy, water, agriculture, tourism, waste management, industry, cities/buildings, and transportation. The Arab Green Economy report is the fourth annual report by AFED, and follows publication of three reports, Arab Environment: Future Challenges in 2008, Impact of Climate Change on Arab Countries in 2009, and Water: Sustainable Management of a Scarce Resource in 2010.

The consultation meeting in Amman was hosted by the University of Petra (UOP), under the patronage of its President H.E. Dr. Adnan Badran, Former Prime Minister of Jordan and Chairman of AFED Board of Trustees. Fifty officials, authors, experts, business executives and civil society organizations from Jordan and abroad addressed urban city planning, green buildings and tourism. They included H.E. Mr. Khaled Irani, Former Minister of Environment and Energy, H.E. Ms. Suzanne Afanah, Former Minister of Tourism, the report’s main editor Hussein Abaza, and a wide spectrum of participants from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Oman, UAE, Morocco, United Kingdom, USA and Sweden. The meeting discussed specific strategies to institutionalize green practices that reduce energy and water consumption and enhance the quality of life, while promoting economic growth and employment.

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Denmark's Noma Named Best Restaurant for 2nd Year

Denmark's Noma restaurant was named best in the world for a second year running Monday in an international poll dominated by European establishments but with new entries from China, Peru and Russia.

The Copenhagen restaurant of chef Rene Redzepi was voted number one in the S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants 2011, a list compiled by more than 800 international restaurant industry experts for Britain's Restaurant Magazine.

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US Economists Fear Spillover From Japan

Turmoil in Japan could spell higher costs and choppy sales for U.S. firms, according to a survey of trade economists published Monday, showing jitters and uncertainty about impact of the crisis.

Businesses can expect to see a significant spillover from the triple disaster this year and next, but with the impact varying vastly from sector to sector, according to a survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

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Raya al-Hassan Holds Talks with World Bank, IMF Officials

Caretaker Finance Minister Raya al-Hassan participated in the joint semi-annual gathering of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund held in Washington, the National News Agency said Monday.

As part of her meetings last week, the minister held talks with Deputy Managing Director of the World Bank Nemat Shafik and officials from IMF’s Middle East and North Africa department, NNA said. She briefed them on the Lebanese macro-finance situation and discussed with them the Arab revolutions and their dramatic effects on the economy.

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Top G20 Economies Face Scrutiny Over Imbalances

Seven of the world's leading economies including China and the United States faced deep scrutiny over fiscal and financial imbalances Saturday as the G20 group announced a new framework for assessing potential risks to the global economy.

A Group of 20 delegation member told Agence France Presse the seven "included the G5" -- the United States, France, Britain, Japan and Germany -- and "two big emerging countries," suggesting China and India.

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