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IMF: Aged Populations to Hamper Growth in Leading Economies

Advanced economies face limits on future growth due to the drag from aging populations, unless they can boost productivity through technology and infrastructure investment, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday.

A higher proportion of aged citizens means a smaller workforce and lower potential output, which in turn could spell lower living standards in the future, the IMF said in a new study.

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Singapore Telecom to Buy U.S. Cybersecurity Firm for $810 mn

Singapore Telecom (Singtel) said Wednesday it will buy almost all of U.S. cybersecurity firm Trustwave for $810 million, saying it was looking to become "a global player" in the sector.

Southeast Asia's biggest telecom firm by revenue said it will acquire a 98 percent equity interest in Trustwave under an agreement it signed with the Chicago-headquartered company.

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EU Quizzes Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal on Bank Aid

The EU is seeking information from Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal to determine if they have illegally supported their frail banks, officials said Tuesday.

The issue is potentially serious since if the four cash-strapped eurozone countries are found at fault they would have to repay the state aid and find other funds to prop up the banks.

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Iran Approved to Join China-Backed Infrastructure Bank

Iran has been approved as a founding member of the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIIB), China's finance ministry said Tuesday, just days after Tehran sealed a historic framework agreement on its nuclear program.

Tehran's application was backed by other founding members on Friday, China's Ministry of Finance said in a statement on its website. The United Arab Emirates' bid was also approved.

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Germany Owes Greece 278 bn Euros in War Payments

Germany owes Greece more than 278 billion euros ($306 billion) in war payments, including some 10 billion for a forced loan taken by Nazi occupation forces, a junior minister has told parliament.

"According to our calculations, the debt linked to German reparations is 278.7 billion euros, including 10.3 billion for the so-called 'forced loan'," junior finance minister Dimitris Mardas told the chamber on Monday.

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FedEx to Buy TNT Express for 4.4 bn Euros

U.S. delivery service FedEx has reached a deal to buy Dutch rival TNT Express for 4.4 billion euros (4.8 billion dollars), ramping up its presence in Europe as global e-commerce continues to expand.

The companies "reached conditional agreement on a recommended all-cash public offer of 8.00 (euros) per ordinary TNT Express share," a joint statement said.

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Boeing Clings to Lead over Airbus in Long-Haul Jets

Boeing is fighting tough efforts by rival Airbus to score big gains in the market for long-haul jets, a segment of the massive aircraft market that the U.S. giant has dominated. 

Neck-and-neck with Boeing in sales of single-aisle, 150-200 passenger jets, Airbus has badly lagged its U.S. archrival in wide-body aircraft with 250-450 seats.

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Japan Stocks Dip, Yen Rises in Asia after Weak U.S. Data

Tokyo shares ended lower Monday while the yen climbed against the dollar following a worse than expected U.S. jobs report seen as making an early U.S. rate rise more unlikely.

Oil prices rose on expectations that any new exports from Iran would not likely come on the market for some time, despite the initial nuclear agreement.

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Strikes Proliferate in China as Working Class Awakens

Timid by nature, Shi Jieying took a risk last month and joined fellow workers in a strike at her handbag factory, one of a surging number of such labor protests across China.

Riot police flooded into the factory compound, broke up the strike and hauled away dozens of workers. Terrified by the violence, Shi was hospitalized with heart trouble, but with a feeble voice from her sickbed expressed a newfound boldness.

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Lagarde: Greece Agrees to Repay IMF Debt by April 9

Greece has agreed to repay its debt to the International Monetary Fund by April 9, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said after a meeting with Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. 

There was speculation ahead of the visit that Athens might fail to meet the 460-million-euro ($501-million) IMF installment if forced to choose between the IMF and paying government workers. 

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