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UBS Agrees to Pay $1.5 Billion for Manipulating Libor

Swiss banking giant UBS has agreed to pay around $1.5 billion to British, U.S. and Swiss regulators to settle allegations it manipulated Libor interest rates, it said in a statement Wednesday.

"UBS agrees to pay approximately CHF 1.4 billion in fines and disgorgement to U.S., UK and Swiss authorities to resolve LIBOR-related investigations," the statement said.

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Ireland Gets $1.17 Bn from IMF after Review

The International Monetary Fund disbursed a fresh $1.17 billion (890 million euros) to Ireland on Monday, approving the country's progress under its two-year-old rescue program.

The IMF said that Ireland had pushed ahead with policy reforms and deficit cutting despite a slowdown in growth this year.

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Renault to Sign Pact Wednesday for First Plant in Algeria

Renault will sign a pact Wednesday to build its first plant in Algeria during a highly symbolic visit by President Francois Hollande to the former French colony, a company spokeswoman said.

"Renault will sign the agreement tomorrow," she said, confirming press reports.

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Malaysia Airlines to Buy 36 ATR Turboprop Planes

Malaysia Airlines on Tuesday said it will buy 36 new ATR turboprop aircraft for 3.0 billion ringgit ($916 million) as it looks to boost profits be further expanding its regional and domestic networks.

Of the 36 ATR-72-600 planes, the carrier said 20 will go to low-cost subsidiary Firefly, which is fast expanding its lucrative routes, while 16 are for MASwings, another low-cost carrier that flies to Sarawak and Sabah on Borneo island.

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IEA Warns Coal Use Set to Surpass Oil in Decade

Coal is set to surpass oil as the world's top fuel within a decade, driven by growth in emerging market giants China and India, according to a report published Tuesday.

Economic growth is expected to push up the share of coal, which produces the most climate-changing gasses, in the global energy mix, "and if no changes are made to current policies, coal will catch oil within a decade," said Maria van der Hoeven, head of the International Energy Agency, in a statement.

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Asian Markets Mostly Higher on U.S. Fiscal Hopes

Asian markets mostly rose Tuesday, taking a lead from Wall Street as dealers grow confident U.S. lawmakers will reach an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff.

Continued weakness of the yen helped send Japanese shares surging for a second straight session as Shinzo Abe prepares to take over as prime minister, vowing to press a more aggressive policy of monetary easing.

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Greece Says to Receive Full EU-IMF Loan Payment by Wednesday

Greece will receive all of a long-awaited 34.3-billion-euro ($45.2 billion) loan tranche from the EU and the IMF by Wednesday, a Greek official said on Tuesday, hours after an initial payment was carried out.

"The full amount should arrive by Wednesday," the official told Agence France Presse on condition of anonymity.

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Santander Absorbs Two Spanish Banks, Eyes Savings

Banking giant Santander said on Monday that it will absorb two of its Spanish offshoots, closing 700 branches in the latest stage of Spain's great banking shake-up.

Santander, the biggest bank in the eurozone by market value, said it could save 520 million euros ($680 million) a year by absorbing the offshoots, Banesto and Banif.

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BP Says it Sells Stake in North Sea Gas Field

British oil giant BP said on Monday that it had agreed to sell its 50-percent stake in a North Sea gas field to energy firm SSE as part of its divestment plans.

"BP announced today that ... it has agreed to sell its interest in the Sean gas field in the UK North Sea to SSE plc for $288 million (219 million euros) in cash," it said in a statement, adding it will complete the deal in the first half of 2013.

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Zurich Insurance Group Puts Sandy Impact at $700mn

Swiss insurer Zurich Insurance Group said on Monday that Superstorm Sandy had hit it with claims worth about $700 million (532 million euros).

"It's difficult to say exactly how much the final amount will be. It could be a bit higher or a bit lower (but) usually our estimates are good," Sylvia Gaeumann, a spokeswoman for the insurer told Agence France Presse.

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