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RBS Accused of 'Distressing' Small Firms

Royal Bank of Scotland faced more damage to its reputation on Monday after the government handed regulators a report claiming that the state-rescued lender forced small firms to default.

Compiled over the past six months, it focuses on claims against the bank's Global Restructuring Group (GRG), which deals with risky loans.

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China, U.S. Exports Help Double Italy Trade Surplus

Italy's trade surplus has doubled in 12 months thanks to a rise in exports, particularly to China and the United States, new data showed on Monday as the economy prepares to end its longest post-war recession.

Exports to countries outside the European Union went up 1.5 percent from October 2012 to October 2013, while imports fell by 8.0 percent over the same period, preliminary data from the official Istat agency showed.

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Asian Shares Follow Wall St Higher, Oil Down on Iran deal

Asian markets rose Monday following another record close on Wall Street, while oil prices fell after Iran struck a deal on its nuclear program that will see eased sanctions on the oil producer.

The generally positive sentiment sent the yen sinking against the dollar, while it also hit a four-year low versus the euro.

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Qatar Gives $350 Million to Yemen Compensation Fund

Qatar has donated $350 million to a fund to compensate civilians and security force members in south Yemen who were forced out of their jobs, the U.N. special envoy said Sunday.

"The south was marginalized under the former regime, its residents discriminated against and its resources plundered," Jamal Benomar said at a ceremony marking the donation.

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Iraq Oil Sales Recover from Lows, but Still Below Peak

Iraq's oil exports in October recovered from a 19-month low, but remained far below their peak due to ongoing maintenance and sabotage of pipelines, figures released on Saturday showed.

Iraq exported 69.8 million barrels of oil in October, or 2.25 million barrels per day, resulting in overall revenues of $7.16 billion (5.28 billion euros), according to the oil ministry.

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Luxury Car-makers Target Urban Young with SUV Crossovers

Luxury car-makers are falling over themselves to tap into a growing trend for crossover compact SUVs, targeting young urban professionals who want a sporty feel with high-end cachet.

Porsche, Jaguar and Mercedes have all developed models of a car type which has traditionally been the preserve of middle-market standards like the Ford Escape, Dodge Durango or Toyota Highlander.

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U.S. Stores in Cutthroat Fight for Holiday Shopping Bucks

Black Friday, the pinnacle of the U.S. shopping year, comes on a Thursday this year. And even earlier.

Desperate for consumer bucks, U.S. chain stores, some fighting for survival, are upping the ante this holiday shopping season with cutthroat discounts offered earlier than ever, and ever-longer opening hours.

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Loud U.S. Reaction to In-Flight Phone Proposal

The complaints started getting loud almost immediately after U.S. regulators said they were considering allowing cell phone use on airplanes.

In petitions, on social media and in press releases, the grumbling began within hours after the Federal Communications Commission said the question would be discussed at a December 12 meeting.

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ECB Suspends Early Repayments of Emergency Funds

The European Central Bank said on Friday it is suspending early repayments by banks of the emergency funds they borrowed at the height of the eurozone crisis.

The move is aimed at keeping the markets flush with liquidity during the turn of the year.

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iPhone Maker Foxconn Invests $40 Million in U.S.

Taiwan's Foxconn, the maker of iPhones, iPads and other electronics in China, said Thursday it would invest $40 million in the United States to ramp up manufacturing of high-end products.

The world's largest contract electronics maker will create around 500 jobs in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as it puts $30 million into a plant to build precision tools, cables for electric cars and other advanced technologies, officials from the company and the state government said.

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