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Argentina Passes Bill to End 15-Year Debt Battle

Argentina's Senate approved an agreement to pay billions of dollars to holdout creditors early Thursday, ending a 15-year battle over a catastrophic debt default that locked the country out of capital markets.

The vote clears the final legislative hurdle for the deal and paves the way for the government to pay off creditors that rejected Argentina's efforts to restructure its mountain of defaulted debt.

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Kuwait Signs $2.9 Billion Gas Facility Deal with Korean Firms

Kuwait on Wednesday inked a $2.93 billion contract with three South Korean firms for the construction of the largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import facility in the oil-rich country.

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'Helicopter Money' Not under Discussion at European Central Bank

The concept of "helicopter money" where the European Central Bank would print and hand out cash directly to eurozone citizens "is not currently part of the discussion" on the ECB's governing council, a top official said on Wednesday. 

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Dubai Announces First Airport Tax on Passengers

The emirate of Dubai, whose airport is the world's busiest for international passengers, announced Wednesday it was introducing a tax on travelers to help finance expansion, as Gulf governments grapple with plummeting revenues.

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U.S. Treasury Chief Warns on Excessive Use of Sanctions

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned Wednesday that the excessive use of economic sanctions could weaken the role of the United States and the dollar on global markets.

"Sanctions should not be used lightly," Lew said in a speech in Washington.

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Assad Says Civil War Has Cost Syria $200 Billion

The brutal five-year conflict in Syria has cost the country over $200 billion (176 billion euros), President Bashar Assad said in an interview released Wednesday, insisting Damascus would look to Russia, China and Iran to rebuild the nation. 

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Japan's Century-Old Sharp Grabs Foreign Lifeline

It took a century for Sharp to evolve from making pencils into one of the world's top consumer electronics brands, but the Japanese company has now signalled another huge shift: it will become Taiwanese.

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Chinese Banks See Slight Profit Rises as Economy Slows

Two of China's biggest banks on Wednesday announced slight increases in 2015 net profits, but warned of growing risks from bad loans as the world's second largest economy slows. 

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) eked out a 0.48 percent rise in net profit to 277.13 billion yuan ($43 billion), it said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange where it is listed.

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U.S. Treasury Chief: Brexit Will Hurt World Economy

If Britain exits the European Union it will have a negative impact on the British, European and world economies, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned Tuesday.

Britons are set to vote in a crucial referendum on June 23 to decide whether to back a so-called Brexit -- or exit from the European Union.

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Emerging Market Currencies Rally after Yellen Comments

The dollar extended its losses in Asia on Wednesday after Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen stuck to a dovish stance on monetary policy, citing ongoing concerns about the global economy.

Yellen signaled U.S. interest rates were unlikely to rise before June, and that when the central bank does tighten policy, it will be slow and gradual. 

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