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Germany, Greece, Italy to Hold Talks on Debt Crisis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos will hold a conference call on Friday to discuss the sovereign debt crisis, Italy said.

"On the initiative of Prime Minister Monti, the three-way phone conversation will take place today in the late morning," the government said in a statement.

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Germany Sees 'Solid Basis' for Greek Aid Decision Monday

Germany expects Eurozone finance ministers to take a decision on aid for debt-wracked Greece on Monday, a spokesman said, but stressed some details remained over the efforts Athens still needs to make.

"We are coming ever closer to a final basis for a decision on Monday but, as you know from the statement of Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker, there are still details to be cleared up," said a finance ministry spokesman.

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Oil Hits 8-Month Highs in London

Brent oil prices hit an eight-month high on Friday, driven by simmering geopolitical tensions over key crude producer Iran and optimism the Greek debt crisis can be resolved, traders said.

Brent North Sea crude for April delivery hit $120.70 per barrel, its highest point since June 14. It later pulled back to $119.84, down 27 cents from Thursday's closing level.

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Spain Clothes Chain Mango Expands to Sri Lanka

Spanish high-street clothing chain Mango has opened its first store in Sri Lanka, expanding its worldwide presence to a total of 106 countries, it said on Friday.

"Mango is pursuing its international expansion and staying true to its aim of being present in each of the main cities in the world with the opening of its first store in Sri Lanka," in the capital Colombo, it said in a statement.

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France's Societe Generale Takes Hit on Greece

French banking giant Societe Generale said Thursday its 2011 net profit slumped 39 percent after taking provisions of 890 million euros on its Greek exposure and a weaker investment bank performance.

Net profit for the year came in at 2.38 billion euros ($3.70 billion), well below analyst estimates for 2.72 billion euros.

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Oil Prices Spike on Iran Export Warning to EU

World oil prices spiked on Wednesday after Iran warned that it may suspend crude exports to six European Union countries amid escalating tensions over Tehran's nuclear program.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in March, climbed $1.06 to close at $101.80 a barrel.

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Kellogg to Buy P&G's Pringles Business

Kellogg Company will buy Procter & Gamble's Pringles potato chip business for $2.7 billion as the cereal maker seeks to extend its global snacks reach, the companies said Wednesday.

The all-cash deal came after a plan to sell Pringles to Diamond Foods was scotched amid a Securities and Exchange Commission probe into another side of Diamond's business.

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Moody's Puts Europe's Top Banks on Rate Cut Watch

Moody's said Thursday it was reviewing some 114 European banks and financial groups, including many of the top firms, for a possible ratings downgrade because of the Eurozone debt crisis.

Germany's Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank were among two of the largest groups named, alongside Britain's HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland, ING of the Netherlands, Spain's Santander and Italy's Unicredit.

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German Economy Shrinks at Year-End

The Eurozone debt crisis brought the German economy, Europe's biggest, to a standstill at the end of last year, data showed Wednesday, but the pause in growth will prove only temporary, analysts said.

According to preliminary figures from the national statistics office, Destatis, gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the preceding three months.

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Brewing Giant Heineken Says Profit Dip, Sales Up

Dutch brewing giant Heineken announced a 1.2-percent dip in net profit for 2011, saying on Wednesday it expected input costs to rise on a surge in the price of a main ingredient, barley.

Last year year's profits stood at 1.43 billion euros ($1.88 billion) while revenue topped 17.12 billion euros, a 3.6-percent rise of internal growth from the level in 2010.

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