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European Stocks Drop Amid Greece Pressure

European stock markets slid and the euro steadied Tuesday after Eurozone finance ministers heaped pressure on Greece to prevent a debt default and following a positive bond auction for Spain.

Shares in French banks retreated sharply, with Societe Generale losing more than 5.0 percent, after Standard and Poor's downgraded most following its downgrade of France's sovereign rating.

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'World's Cheapest Car' Tag Backfires for India's Nano

When India's Tata Motors' Nano went on sale in 2009, the concept of the "world's cheapest car" in one of the world's fastest growing auto markets seemed pre-destined for commercial success.

Logically, the strategy appeared faultless -- offering an affordable solution to millions of aspirational lower-middle class Indian families wanting to make the social and practical leap from two wheels to four.

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Report: Kuwait Reaches Deal with Total for China Refinery

Kuwait Petroleum Corp. has reached a deal with France's Total to be a partner in a Kuwait-China refinery joint venture, the Kuwaiti oil minister was Tuesday quoted as saying.

Mohammad al-Baseeri said the deal was struck after Shell withdrew from talks in the $9 billion refinery and petrochemical complex, Al-Jarida newspaper reported.

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Salameh: Banking Sector to Abide by Syria Sanctions

Lebanon's banking sector will abide by international sanctions against unrest-swept Syria, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh said on Tuesday.

"Lebanese banks both at home and abroad ... will not take any action, especially as concerns Syria, that could expose any of our banking partners or put them in a position whereby they have breached regulations in their countries," said Salameh.

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BA Says will Resume Libya Flights in May

British Airways will resume its flights to Libya's capital Tripoli in May, 15 months after they were suspended due to violent unrest in the North African country, the airline announced on Monday.

"British Airways plans to resume flights to Tripoli from Tuesday May 1, 2012," said a statement from the company, which is now part of International Airlines Group alongside Spain's Iberia.

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EU Finance Chiefs to Meet as Greek Talks Stall

European finance ministers will try on Monday to give new momentum to talks on a Greek debt relief deal that is crucial to avoid a default, but a European diplomat warned that a final agreement may have to wait until a leaders' summit next week.

A deal would see Greece's private creditors — banks and other investment firms — swap their Greek bonds for ones with a 50 percent lower value, thereby cutting the country's debt pile by some €100 billion ($129 billion). The new bonds will also have much longer maturities, pushing repayments decades into the future, and a much lower interest rate then Greece would currently have to pay on the market.

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Oil Falls to Near $98 Amid Greece Debt Deal Talks

Oil fell to near $98 a barrel Monday in Asia as the crude market waited for the outcome of Greece's negotiations with creditors on a deal to cut the face value of its debt by half.

Benchmark crude for March delivery was down 15 cents at $98.19 a barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $2.21 to end at $98.33 per barrel in New York on Friday.

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VW May Complete 'Takeover of Porsche This Year'

Europe's biggest automaker Volkswagen will likely this year complete its takeover of luxury car group Porsche after clearing key hurdles, according to a German media report on Sunday.

News weekly Der Spiegel writes in its upcoming issue that VW, which owns 49.9 percent of Porsche, may buy the 50.1-percent stake in the manufacturer of the iconic 911 car for 3.9 billion euros ($5.0 billion) in 2012.

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Portugal Shoe Makers Offer Hope in Economic Gloom

Amid all the gloom and doom over debt-stricken Portugal there is a ray of light -- shoemaking, one of the oldest and most traditional industries, had a record year in 2011 on strong exports.

The shoemaker companies, which sell nearly all their production overseas, registered 17 percent growth last year, according to industry group APICCAPS.

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ENI Libya Oil output 'Close to Pre-War Level'

Output by Italian oil giant ENI, the top producer of Libyan crude, has nearly reached its levels prior to the war last year that ousted Moammar Gadhafi, its chief Paolo Scaroni said Saturday.

"We are almost where we were. We are producing 270,000 barrels per day now against 280,000 before the revolution," Scaroni told reporters in Tripoli where he arrived as part of a delegation of visiting Italian premier Mario Monti.

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