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Hakim Voices Fears over Dwindling Investments, Employment of Syrians

The Minister of Economy and Trade Alain Hakim voiced fears on Tuesday over the economic situation and the current paralysis as a result of the difficult security situation and the vacuum at the country's top post.

“The weakness and dwindling of investments at the local and foreign levels are wearing away the labor market that is already experiencing pressure due to the employment of Syrian nationals,” the Minister told An Nahar daily.

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Oil Prices Hit New Multi-Year Lows in Asia

Oil prices fell to fresh multi-year lows in Asian trade Tuesday, with analysts citing concerns about a supply glut and the effects of weaker demand from Europe and China.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for November delivery was down 65 cents at a two-year-low $85.09 in afternoon trade and Brent crude retreated 71 cents to $88.18, its lowest since mid-2010.

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French Economist Tirole Wins Nobel for Work on Market Dominance

French economist Jean Tirole won the Nobel Economics Prize on Monday for groundbreaking work on the power of large companies in a range of key industries.

By providing a framework for governments' handling of major enterprises, the 61-year-old professor at Toulouse 1 Capitole University has become "one of the most influential economists of our time," the jury said.

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China's Li Discusses Russia Deals ahead of Putin Talks

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang met his Russian counterpart on Monday ahead of talks with President Vladimir Putin on a visit to Moscow that comes as Russia struggles with its most serious standoff with the West since the Cold War.

Li sat down with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, with a raft of economic deals on the table, ahead of a meeting with Putin scheduled for Tuesday.

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Islamic Banks Set to Boost Gulf Market Share

Islamic banks are set to boost their market share in the energy-rich Gulf states to nearly 30 percent in the next five years, ratings agency Standard & Poor's said on Monday.

"We think Islamic banks' market share of overall banking system assets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries could gradually inch closer to 30 percent over the next five to six years, from just under 25 percent currently," Standard & Poor's credit analyst Timucin Engin said.

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Britain Launches Process to Sell Eurostar Stake

Britain's government officially launched on Monday an attempt to sell its 40-percent stake in Eurostar, the high-speed rail service connecting London with Paris and Brussels.

It forms part the state's plan to recoup £20 billion ($32.2 billion, 25.4 billion euros) from asset sales by 2020 to help bring down the country's debt pile.

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Singapore Transport Firm SMRT Shuns Bid for Addison Lee

Singapore public transport operator SMRT said Monday it has decided not to make a bid for Addison Lee, London's biggest minicab firm.

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China Exports and Imports Surge Ahead of Expectations

China's exports and imports both rose more than expected in September, Customs data showed Monday in a positive signal for the world's second-largest economy, but analysts warned that fundamentals remained weak.

The country's trade surplus more than doubled year-on-year to $31.0 billion as exports rose 15.3 percent to $213.7 billion, the General Administration of Customs announced, while imports climbed 7.0 percent to $182.7 billion.

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China Urges Corruption Fugitives Abroad to Return

Chinese authorities are urging officials who have fled abroad to avoid corruption charges to turn themselves in before Dec. 1 in exchange for leniency or face stiffer punishment.

Corruption is rampant in China, and a large number of government officials and executives of state-owned companies have absconded overseas for safer havens of their ill-gained wealth because China lacks extradition treaties.

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International Groups Compete for Greek Airports

Multinational companies from Argentina, France and Germany are competing to buy 14 Greek airports put up for sale to boost Athens' depleted cash reserves, its privatization agency said on Friday. 

Argentina's Corporacion America, France's Vinci and Germany's Fraport have all placed fixed bids for the airports, which are being auctioned in two lots. 

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