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China Busts Biggest ever 'Underground Bank'

Chinese authorities have uncovered an "underground bank" which illegally transferred money overseas in a case valued at $64 billion, said to be the country's largest ever, according to a police statement.

Police in the eastern city of Jinhua found that the chief suspect, whose surname was given as Zhao, set up shell companies in Hong Kong and then made transfers from the mainland through a network of more than 800 bank accounts, said a Jinhua police statement posted on Friday.

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Rich, Famous to Get Special Terminal at Los Angeles Airport

Los Angeles International Airport officials have approved opening a special terminal for the rich and famous to wait for their flights far from the paparazzi and riffraff.

The lounge, which was given the green light on Thursday, eclipses even the business class and first class areas available at major airports.

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Draghi: ECB Will 'Do What we Must' to Lift Inflation

ECB chief Mario Draghi said Friday the bank will "do what we must" to lift inflation as quickly as possible, in a new sign it could boost its anti-deflation defences.

In a speech at the Frankfurt European Banking Congress, Draghi warned that inflation was stubbornly way below the target of close to 2 percent even though the bank has deployed a 1.1 trillion euros ($1.2 trillion) scheme to help lift consumer prices.

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Oil Prices Slightly up in Asia but Gains Limited

Oil prices were higher in Asia Friday, but gains were limited in a market burdened by a persistent oversupply.

A continued rise in U.S. commercial crude inventories further confirmed predictions the glut will last well into next year, with Iran also expected ramp up production when Western sanctions are lifted under a deal with major powers to curb its nuclear program.

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Volkswagen, amid Scandal, Keeps Low Profile at U.S. Auto Show

German car giant Volkswagen, tainted by an emissions scandal, is keeping a low profile as it attends a major auto show in the United States and prepares to meet with regulators.

Gone were the company's flashy presentations and pompous speeches at the Los Angeles Auto Show Wednesday when Volkswagen's chief executive in America, Michael Horn, made an appearance.

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ABN Amro Eyes Record-Breaking Return to Dutch Bourse

Seven years after being nationalized in a 2008 bailout, ABN Amro bounces back onto the stock market Friday in what is being billed as one of the biggest IPOs by a European lender since the financial crisis.

ABN Amro said it would offer 20 percent of its capital to investors in a first tranche.

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U.S. Bank Issues First Debit Cards for Use in Cuba

A U.S. bank announced Thursday it has begun offering its American clients debit cards they can use in Cuba for the first since the two Cold War foes moved to normalize relations nearly a year ago.

Florida-based Stonegate bank said its U.S. clients can use the Mastercard debit card at hotels, restaurants and other businesses on the communist-ruled island.

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UK Budget Cuts Raise Terror Attack Risk, ex-Security Chief Warns

Britain will be more vulnerable to the kind of attacks launched by the Islamic State group in Paris if planned police budget cuts go ahead, the country's former counter-terrorism chief warned on Thursday.

Finance minister George Osborne is set to announce departmental budget cuts in a spending review next week, and the interior ministry, which oversees policing, is in line for what are expected to be sizable reductions.

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Report: Purchasing Power in Syria Drops 80 Percent since War

Residents of war-torn Syria have seen their purchasing power drop by an estimated 80 percent since the beginning of the country's conflict in 2011, the Al-Watan daily said on Thursday. 

Jamal al-Satal, head of Syria's Consumer Protection Society, told the paper that "individual purchasing power has dropped hugely," estimating it had decreased "by 80 percent since the beginning of 2011." 

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Saudi Says Oil Price Slump Should not Stop Investment

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi called for sustained investment in new output capacity Thursday despite the slump in world prices.

Naimi said global production lost four million barrels per day due to natural depreciation and predicted an increase in demand of one million bpd.

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