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Scandal-Hit Aussie Banks Earmark Billions to Repay Customers

Australia's big banks -- once among the world's most profitable -- are being forced to amass war chests worth billions of dollars to reimburse customers for years of dodgy fees.

Industry heavyweight the National Australia Bank on Thursday became the latest financial house to outline the mounting cost of refunding ripped-off customers following a government probe into the sector.

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Most Asian Markets Rise, Energy Firms Hit by Oil Demand Fears

Most Asian markets rose Thursday as forecast-beating earnings from Apple provided a much-needed bounce for the tech sector, though energy companies dropped on concerns about slowing US oil demand as supplies climb.

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US, Chinese Negotiators Hold 'Productive' Trade Talks

Top US and Chinese trade negotiators held productive talks in Beijing on Wednesday, the American side said, as the economic superpowers head towards an endgame in a dispute that has hit businesses with bruising tariffs.

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Apple Tops Forecasts as Pivot to Services Shows Progress

Apple delivered stronger-than-expected results Tuesday for the past quarter as gains in services helped offset slumping iPhone sales, sparking a rally in shares of the technology giant.

California-based Apple reported a 16 percent drop in profits in the just-ended quarter to $11.6 billion, as overall revenues dipped five percent to $58 billion.

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U.S. Trade Negotiators Arrive in Beijing for More Talks

Top American negotiators arrived in Beijing on Tuesday hoping for progress in a new round of talks with Chinese counterparts as they home in on a deal to end a months-long trade war.

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Rouhani Says Workers 'on Front Line' against U.S.

President Hassan Rouhani called on Iranian workers Tuesday to boost non-oil exports and import substitution, telling them they were "on the front line" against America and its tightening sanctions.

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Chinese Bank Profits Rise, but So Do Bad Loans

Profit at China's biggest banks accelerated in the first quarter in line with a better-than-expected performance in the domestic economy, but rising bad loans may pressure authorities to ease up on pump-priming measures.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) -- the world's largest bank by assets and several other yardsticks -- posted a net profit of 82.0 billion yuan in the January-March period, up 4.1 percent.

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Iran Sanctions, Unrest Hit Mideast Growth, Says IMF

US sanctions on Iran, rising unrest in the Middle East and North Africa and oil price volatility are dragging regional economic growth, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.

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Qatar to Abolish Exit Visa System by Year's End

Qatar is set to abolish its controversial exit visa system for all foreign workers by the end of the year, the UN's International Labour Organization said Friday. 

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China's Belt and Road: Ports, Trains and Infrastructure

China is trying to woo more nations to join a massive network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks that links dozens of countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.

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