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Brazilian Leader Names New CEO of Scandal-Tainted Petrobras

Brazil's acting president Michel Temer on Thursday named a new chairman for the scandal-tainted state oil company Petrobras.

The new boss is Pedro Parente, a former government minister and until now chairman of Bunge, a big agribusiness and food company.

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Oil Search to Buy Rival InterOil for $2.2 bn in PNG Deal

Papua New Guinea explorer Oil Search Friday said it had bought rival InterOil in a multi-billion-dollar deal, but will sell off some of the assets to French energy giant Total to fund part of the takeover.

Oil Search is to pay US$40.25 per share for the US-listed company for a total value of approximately $2.2 billion, as it looks to boost its interests in a key liquefied natural gas (LNG) project under development in resource-rich Papua New Guinea.

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World Bank Restarts Cambodia Loans after Five-year Freeze

The World Bank has approved $130 million worth of new loans for Cambodia, ending a five-year freeze in new lending to the country following a spate of controversial forced evictions by the government.

The decision will be welcome news to strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen whose government has clashed with the World Bank over the eviction of thousands of families from the shores of a lake in the capital Phnom Penh.

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IMF: Greece Needs 'Long' EU Grace Period on Debt Payments

The IMF said Thursday that Greece would need a lengthy period free from debt payments to achieve sustainable finances if the European Union does not agree to cutting the debt up front.

"It is possible to restore debt sustainability without upfront haircuts, although this would involve providing very concessional loan terms including long grace and maturity periods and very low interest rates," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters.

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IMF Sees Modest Rebound for Crisis-Hit Russia Next Year

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted Thursday that the Russian economy would contract by about 1.5 percent this year before experiencing moderate growth in 2017.

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Israel Close to Sealing Offshore Gas Deal after Compromise

Israel is expected to finally ratify a deal to put a major offshore gas field online, the energy ministry announced, after a compromise was reached with the U.S.-led consortium of developers.

The supreme court in March struck down a complex agreement on development of the Leviathan gas field, off Israel's Mediterranean coast, with justices objecting to a clause that guaranteed the terms of the deal would not change for a decade.

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Walmart Reports Stronger U.S. Sales; Shares Jump

U.S. retail giant Walmart reported slightly higher quarterly sales Thursday, and offered a confident outlook despite reporting a dip in earnings.

The results bested analyst expectations, standing out from a plethora of largely-disappointing retailer earnings in recent days and sending Walmart shares up nearly nine percent in pre-market trade to $68.50.

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Spain's Bankia Says has Paid 1.2 bn Euros over Failed Listing

Spain's state-rescued lender Bankia said Thursday it has paid out 1.2 billion euros ($1.35 billion) in compensation to small investors who bought into its failed stock market listing in 2011.

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Dollar Soars against Emerging Currencies after Fed Minutes

The dollar soared against emerging market currencies on Thursday as investors sought safety after minutes showed the Federal Reserve was more likely to raise interest rates than previously believed.

Traders moved back into the U.S. currency after the minutes to the Fed's April meeting suggested on Wednesday that a U.S. interest rate hike in June was increasingly likely.

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Japan Economy Returns to Growth in Q1, Avoids Recession

Japan sidestepped a recession after its economy grew in the first quarter, preliminary data showed Wednesday, but efforts to cement recovery in the world's number three economy were gaining little traction.

Gross domestic product expanded by 0.4 percent between January and March -- or 1.7 percent at an annualised rate -- after a contraction in the last three months of 2015.

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