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Mexico Tycoon Slim to Buy Tabasco Oil

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's Grupo Carso conglomerate will acquire 70 percent of the Tabasco Oil Co. LLC, which has exploration and production operations in Colombia.

Grupo Carso announced the move in a brief statement to the stock exchange late Tuesday, saying it "marks the entrance of Grupo Carso into a new business sector in Latin America."

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Brent Oil Price Hits $108 on Libya Fears

Oil prices struck $108 on Tuesday, as Libyan production was hit by violent protests and concerns grew over spreading unrest in the strategic crude-producing Middle East and North Africa region.

In early morning trade, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April surged to $108.57 per barrel, hitting the highest level since September 4, 2008, before pulling back to $107.75, up $2.01 from Monday's closing level.

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BP Prepares to Evacuate Some Staff from Libya

British energy giant BP was on Monday making preparations to evacuate some of its staff from Libya amid escalating unrest in the country, a spokesman told Agence France Presse.

"We're just monitoring the situation and making preparations to evacuate some of the families, and some non-essential staff in the next day or two," said the spokesman.

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European Stocks Fall as China Tightens, Traders Eye G20

Europe's stock markets and the euro fell on Friday as investors reacted to fresh monetary tightening in China ahead of an eagerly-awaited Group of 20 finance meeting in Paris.

London's FTSE 100 index of top shares sank 0.48 percent to 6,058.08 points in late morning deals.

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France: G20 to Address Imbalances Not Dictate Policy

The aim of an upcoming G20 meeting is to address global economic imbalances and not to dictate policy to any particular country, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said on Thursday.

Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors are to meet for the first time under the bloc's French presidency Friday and Saturday in Paris, aiming to hammer out common criteria for measuring global economic imbalances.

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Societe Generale Profits Soar

French lender Societe Generale capped a strong recovery in 2010, with net profit soaring nearly six-fold to 3.92 billion Euros ($5.29 billion) as bad loan provisions fell and it cut costs.

The results were in line with analyst forecasts. The group, whose reputation was dented badly by a massive 2008 rogue trader scandal, posted profits of some 3.0 billion Euros over the three quarters to September.

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GM Unveils New Hatchback

The South Korean unit of U.S. auto giant GM on Wednesday unveiled a new hatchback as part of an ambitious plan to introduce eight models this year to expand its domestic and global market share.

The Chevrolet Aveo comes on the heels of the Orlando sports utility vehicle unveiled earlier this month.

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Armenia and Iran to Build Fuel Pipeline

Construction will begin this year of a pipeline taking oil from Iran to Armenia, boosting the isolated ex-Soviet state's energy security, the Armenian energy minister said on Tuesday.

The 365-kilometre (227-mile) pipeline from the Iranian city of Tabriz to Eraskh in Armenia follows the opening of a gas pipeline from Iran and will provide the country with an alternative to Russian energy imports, which were disrupted by the Georgia-Russia war in 2008.

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Oil prices Climb, Brent Close to $104

World oil prices rose on Tuesday, with Brent crude close to $104 on unrest in the Middle East and robust Chinese demand, analysts said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April gained 74 cents to $103.82 a barrel in early London trade.

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New-found Oil Set to Change Uganda's Economy

Whoever wins this week's presidential election in Uganda will have to manage national reserves of 2.5 billion barrels of oil, a recent find that has transformed the country's financial outlook.

President Yuweri Museveni is expected to win re-election in Friday's poll but will face the toughest challenge yet to his 25-year rule from veteran opposition leader Kizza Besigye, according to analysts.

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