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Peugeot Could Slash 5,000 Jobs to Cut Costs in 2012

French auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen on Wednesday announced an 800-million-euro cost-cutting plan for next year, including up to 5,000 lay-offs amid a stagnating European car market.

"It's quite possible there will be an impact on the workforce," the company's chief financial officer Frederic Saint-Geours warned during a teleconference announcing the plan.

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IMF Says Mideast Oil Importers Face Economic Slowdown

Middle Eastern countries without significant oil resources face a sharp slowdown in economic growth as the effects of the Arab Spring reverberate across the region, the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday.

In a twice-yearly report, the IMF cut its economic growth forecast for the Mideast's oil importing countries — including Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia — to just 1.9 percent this year. That is down from an earlier IMF forecast of 2.3 percent and well below the more than 4 percent growth in 2010.

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Novartis Announces 2,000 Job Losses, Profits Up

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis announced 2,000 job losses Tuesday, mostly in Switzerland and the United States, while reporting net profits of $3.53 billion (2.5 billion Euros) for the third quarter.

The firm said in a statement profits for the quarter were up 12 percent and that the job cuts were part of a $300 million restructuring program to strengthen productivity.

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BP Bounces Back into Profit

BP surged back into profit in the first nine months of 2011, and has now reached a "clear turning point" after last year's devastating Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, it declared on Tuesday.

The group said it will sell another $15 billion of non-core assets by 2013, expanding its divestment program to $45 billion, as it seeks to recover oil spill-related costs and re-invest in high-growth activities.

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Deutsche Bank Reports Fall in Profits

Germany's top lender Deutsche Bank announced on Tuesday a 37-percent drop in third quarter profits due to the financial downturn but said it was confident it could face the economic crisis without public capital.

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Harley-Davidson Recalls 308,000 Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson said Monday it is recalling more than 308,000 of its prized motorcycles due to problems with a rear brake light switch.

In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Harley said the recall involved Touring, CVO Touring and Trike models made between June 6, 2008, and September 16, 2011.

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Oil Prices Climb on Cautious Optimism

World oil prices advanced Monday on cautious optimism after encouraging Chinese and Eurozone economic data, and following the weekend's Eurozone debt crisis summit, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December added 35 cents to $87.75 a barrel.

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Asian Shares Rise on European Debt Talks

Asian shares surged on Monday after weekend meetings of European leaders resulted in "good progress" on tackling a regional debt crisis that has threatened to plunge the world economy into recession.

The Eurozone wants to beef up its 440-billion-euro ($610 billion) rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, to convince markets it has the means to protect highly indebted nations such as Italy and Greece.

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Oracle to Buy RightNow for $1.5 Billion

Software company Oracle Corp. said Monday that it is buying RightNow Technologies Inc. for about $1.5 billion so it can offer a broader range of software and services that help businesses manage customer service.

Oracle is offering $43 per share for the tech service company from Bozeman, Mont.. That is a 19.6 percent premium over RightNow's closing price of $35.96 on Friday.

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Kuwait Airways Workers Strike for Wage Increase

Hundreds of Kuwait Airways Corp. staff began an indefinite strike Monday to demand a pay increase for national workers, disrupting flights of the flag carrier, head of the trade union said.

"We have started an open strike from today. It will continue until the government meets our legitimate demands of raising our wages," Abdullah al-Hajeri told Agence France Presse.

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