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Japan Quake, Tsunami Could Hit Global Production

The economic aftershocks from the massive earthquake off the coast of Japan, the resulting tsunami and a feared nuclear meltdown could hit global production of everything from aircraft to iPads.

Panic selling sent Tokyo shares down 10.55 percent on worries the nuclear crisis would become a catastrophe Tuesday, after radiation levels near a quake-stricken nuclear plant surged following explosions and a fire.

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Nuclear Crisis Slams Stocks in Japan, Around World

Japan's Nikkei stock index nose-dived nearly 11 percent Tuesday as the earthquake-shattered country faced an unfolding nuclear crisis after a radiation leak was detected at a crippled power plant and residents were warned to stay indoors. Panic-selling sent shares lower across the globe.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average sank a staggering 10.6 percent — more than 1,000 points — to close at 8,605.15 after hitting a midday low of 8,227.63 points, more than 14 percent down. The broader Topix, meanwhile, lost 8 percent. Oil prices fell below $100 a barrel, and Asian shares tanked amid fears that Japan's nuclear emergency would worsen.

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Qatar Holding to Buy 6.16 Percent of Iberdrola

Spanish power group Iberdrola Monday announced investment fund Qatar Holding will take a 6.16 percent stake in its share capital.

Iberdrola's capital will increase by 253.76 million Euros ($353.49 million) which "will allow the subscription by Qatar Holding of a participation" of 5.81 percent by buying Iberdrola's shares for 5.633 Euros percent each, below the price of 5.961 Euros at Friday's close.

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Bidders Say Kuwait's Zain OK'd Bid for Saudi Unit

Kuwaiti telecommunications firm Zain has tentatively accepted a $950 million bid for its Saudi operations, the division's joint suitors said Monday in a deal that could lead to further consolidation for the Mideast's mobile service providers.

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holding Co. said in a regulatory filing that it and bid partner Batelco Group of Bahrain received "preliminary acceptance" for their non-binding offer from Zain's board. Completing the deal is expected to take weeks.

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Asian Markets Fall on Japan Mega-Quake

Asian stock markets plunged Friday following Japan's massive earthquake, with Tokyo ending down 1.72 percent and Hong Kong down 1.55 percent, although the yen stabilised after an initial fall.

Tokyo's Nikkei ended 179.95 points lower at 10,254.43, Hong Kong dropped 365.11 points to 23,249.78 and the Shanghai Composite Index ended down 0.79 percent, or 23.34 points, at 2,933.80.

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Hyundai Unveils New Three-Door Compact Car

South Korea's top automaker Hyundai Motor on Thursday unveiled a three-door compact car aimed at younger customers, after a 40-month development program costing 270 billion won (US$242 million).

The Veloster is the company's first vehicle with an odd number of side doors -- one on the driver's side and two on the passenger side.

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German Luxury Car Makers Report Strong February Sales

German luxury car maker BMW said Wednesday that strong demand in all major regions pushed February group sales up by 21.7 percent to 111,720 vehicles, a trend reported by major German rivals as well.

BMW "is currently doing exceptionally well from the recovery of the car markets in many regions of the world," sales director Ian Robertson said in a statement.

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Nokia Siemens Delays Motorola Purchase Indefinitely

Finnish-German giant Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) said Wednesday its purchase of Motorola's wireless network infrastructure assets would be delayed again, with no timeline specified for completion of the deal.

"Nokia Siemens Networks remains committed to the acquisition but will provide no further guidance on when it is likely to be completed," the company said in a statement, adding it was still waiting for approval from Chinese regulatory authorities.

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AUB Signs Student Loan Deals with Fransabank, BLOM

The American University of Beirut has signed multi-year cooperation agreements with two leading banks to provide students with low-rate loans, AUB said in a statement.

AUB President Peter Dorman signed the agreements with Fransabank CEO Adel Qassar and with BLOM Bank Chairman Saad Azhari, it said.

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Euro Retreats From Four-Month Dollar High

The euro fell against the dollar Tuesday, one day after reaching four-month highs versus the U.S. currency, and ahead of this week's key EU summit to further tackle the Eurozone debt crisis.

In late morning London deals, the shared Eurozone unit dropped to $1.3918 from $1.3971 in New York late on Monday.

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