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Arab Uprisings a Blow to Lebanese Economy

Unrest across the Arab world combined with a government void in Lebanon and upheaval in neighboring Syria have dealt a severe blow to Beirut's economy and dashed hopes of a record tourist season.

"Business has dropped 40 percent in the first six months of 2011," lamented Pierre Achkar, head of Lebanon's hotel syndicate.

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Stocks Rise, Euro Drops as ECB Holds Rate

The euro fell against the dollar while European stock markets bounced back Thursday as the European Central Bank and Bank of England resisted pressures to hike interest rates.

News that the U.S. trade deficit fell provided some support as the figures suggested exports were still doing well despite recent weaker economic data.

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Former BP Boss Hayward Launches Comeback

Tony Hayward, who resigned as boss of British energy giant BP over the Gulf of Mexico spill disaster, on Thursday launched a bid to raise £1.0 billion in his new role as part of an investment vehicle.

Hayward has helped to set up Vallares, which on Thursday said it plans to raise £1.0 billion (1.13 billion euros, $1.64 billion) via a stock market flotation in London later this month.

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BMW Sales Lead Other German Luxury Car Makers in May

German car maker BMW reinforced its claim to be the world's leading premium auto maker ahead of Audi and Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, after releasing figures for May on Wednesday.

BMW, which also owns the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, said it delivered a total of 147,563 vehicles last month, for an annualized gain of 21 percent.

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Singapore to Overtake Vegas This Year

Singapore is set to overtake Las Vegas as the world's second-largest gambling hub this year, a U.S. gaming industry head said Tuesday, as Asia cements its place as a major betting market.

Singapore has emerged as Asia's hottest new gambling destination with a revamped cityscape and billions of dollars pouring into the economy, after the opening of two resort casinos in 2010.

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China Official Says Inflation Weighs on Global Recovery

Growing inflation worldwide is casting a pall over the global economic recovery and risks hurting the financial system, China's top banking regulator has been quoted as saying.

Liu Mingkang, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said inflation was soaring in both developed and emerging economies as a result of monetary easing in the United States, the European Union and Japan, which had sent a flood of liquidity into global commodity markets, pushing up prices.

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Louis Vuitton Pitches Handbags in China Museum

Louis Vuitton may have lost prime advertising space in China when its giant suitcase was torn down in Shanghai, but it is now wooing customers in the hallowed halls of the national museum in Beijing.

The Louis Vuitton Voyages exhibition, marking the French fashion house's 20th year in China -- the world's fastest growing market for luxury goods -- features hundreds of canvas trunks and leather handbags dating back to the 1860s.

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Prada to Raise Up to $2.6 Billion in Hong Kong IPO

Italian luxury fashion house Prada is set to raise as much as $2.6 billion after setting the price range for its highly anticipated offering in Hong Kong on June 24, a report said Monday.

The Milan-based company plans to sell 423.28 million shares at an indicative price range of HK$36.50-HK$48.0 ($4.70-6.20) each, Dow Jones Newswires reported, quoting an unnamed source familiar with the deal.

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Oil Prices Dip Before OPEC Meeting

Oil prices fell on Monday as traders took profits and geared up for this week's key OPEC meeting in Vienna.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, sank 78 cents to $99.44 per barrel.

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Daimler, Rolls Win Control of Tognum

German auto group Daimler and Britain's Rolls-Royce said Monday they had succeeded in a takeover of motor and turbine maker Tognum, having acquired 59.87 percent of its shares.

"Following the expiration of the public offer's term, Daimler and Rolls-Royce together hold 59.87 percent of the shares in Tognum via their joint company Engine Holding," a statement said.

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