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New Treasurer Looks to Keep Australia out of Recession

Australia's new Treasurer Chris Bowen was Friday welcomed by business figures as he hinted at policy changes amid recession fears following an unprecedented Asia-mining boom.

Bowen, who served as assistant treasurer from late 2007 to mid- 2009 and was also minister for immigration, tertiary education and small business, was installed as treasurer on Thursday.

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Pearson Denies Report Murdoch to Buy Financial Times

British publisher Pearson on Friday denied a report that media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Abu Dhabi's state media group are in talks to acquire the Financial Times Group for about $1.2 billion.

The Edge Review, a regional political and business digital magazine based in Malaysia, said the talks had been progressing for more than a month with Pearson, the London-based publishing and education giant.

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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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