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Sony Cuts 5,000 Jobs, Exits PC Business and Tips $1 bn Loss

Sony on Thursday warned it would book a $1.08 billion annual loss and cut 5,000 jobs while exiting the stagnant PC market this year as the once-mighty electronics giant struggles to reinvent itself in the digital age.

The shock news comes a week after Moody's downgraded the firm's credit rating to junk, saying the maker of Bravia televisions and the PlayStation games console had more work to do in repairing its battered balance sheet.

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Kuwait MPs Order Probes of Airbus Deal, Power Plant

Kuwait's parliament on Wednesday ordered probes into a $2.5 billion (1.8 billion euro) power plant contract and a deal with Airbus to purchase 25 aircraft and lease 12 others.

Twenty-one MPs out of 36 present approved a proposal to ask the parliament's legal committee to investigate "all deals" being undertaken by state-owned Kuwait Airways Company (KAC).

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Survey: Eurozone Business Activity Best since June 2011

Eurozone private sector business activity in January showed the best performance since June 2011, fresh evidence that a modest recovery is gaining traction, a key survey showed on Wednesday.

Markit Economics said its Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for January rose to 52.9 points from 52.1 in December, the seventh monthly rise in a row.

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Rating Agency Cautious over Sochi's Legacy

A major international ratings agency expects the local government in Sochi, Russia, to struggle with the cost of maintaining the Olympic venues despite the massive state investment.

Moody's said in a report published on Wednesday that Sochi and the Krasnodar region have benefited from the government funding but are likely to be tight for money in the longer term.

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Former Hellenic Postbank CEO Arrested in Athens

The former head of a Greek bank at the heart of a criminal investigation into allegedly unsecured loans has been taken into custody after his return from neighboring Turkey.

Angelos Filippidis, Hellenic Postbank's CEO from 2007 to 2010, was arrested at Athens airport early Wednesday.

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Indonesia's Growth Falls below 6 Percent

Indonesia's economy grew at its slowest pace in four years in 2013 because of a slump in commodity prices and a slowdown in consumer spending.

The Central Statistics Agency said Southeast Asia's largest economy grew 5.8 percent last year, the first time it has expanded less than 6 percent since 2009.

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Reports: Sony to Sell PC Business to Investment Fund

Sony is in talks to sell its personal computer business to a Japanese investment fund as part of the electronics giant's wider restructuring, reports said Wednesday.

The leading Nikkei business daily said Sony was looking to sell the division to Japan Industrial Partners for between 40 billion yen and 50 billion yen ($396 million to $495 million).

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Romania, IMF Credit Deal on Track after Fuel Tax Row

Romania and the IMF reached an agreement on sustaining a stand-by credit deal, threatened by a row over a fuel tax rise, an IMF official said on Tuesday.

"Staff level agreement has been reached, the program remains broadly on track," IMF mission chief Andrea Schaechter told a press conference.

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Spain Jobless Total Spikes as Christmas Jobs End

Spanish government figures show that the number of people registered as unemployed rose by 113,097 in January as temporary job contracts created over Christmas came to an end.

The Labor Ministry said Tuesday that the reduction put the total number of those registered in unemployment offices at 4.81 million. Year-on-year, the figure was down 166,343.

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Cyprus Banks Saddled with Massive Non-Performing Loans

Banks in recession-hit Cyprus, reeling from a financial crisis, are struggling with non-performing loans that make up nearly half their lending and are hampering efforts to finance a cash-starved economy.

The central bank says banks' liquidity is sufficient to absorb NPLs up to a certain point, but fast action is needed as the figure is rising.

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