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Business Middle East

  • BEIRUT-- At least three explosions ripped through a house in a Hezbollah stronghold in eastern Lebanon on Wednesday, killing two people and wounding two others, a senior Lebanese security official said. Soldiers and Hezbollah members cordoned off the area, blocking access to journalists.

  • NEW YORK-- Marriott International Inc. will give investors a first look at how the hotel industry weathered a tough summer when it reports earnings for the third quarter after the market closes. Still, observers think Marriott will be able to keep its vow to improve earnings, because it's still been able to raise prices.

  • *China, Europe services PMI disappoint. LONDON, Oct 3- Crude oil prices fell sharply on Wednesday as weak economic data from Europe and China dimmed the outlook for demand, adding to concerns arising from Europe's festering debt crisis. Brent November crude futures had fallen $2.11 to $109.46 a barrel by 1257 GMT.

  • The bank promoted Min-Lan Tan, who was most recently head of Singapore equities and research, to global head of macro strategy research. The asset manager named David Brunner as a regional sales manager within the UK third-party distribution team. The asset management business of Aviva Plc named Patrick Brien as chief executive of its Asia Pacific region.

  • DUBAI, Oct 3- Riot police clashed with demonstrators and foreign exchange dealers in Tehran on Wednesday over the collapse of the Iranian currency, which has lost 40 percent of its value against the dollar in a week, witnesses said.

  • *Strong demand for deal; order books over $6 billion. DUBAI, Oct 3- Qatar Islamic Bank, the Gulf Arab state's largest sharia-compliant lender, returned to global debt markets after two years with a $750 million Islamic bond sale on Wednesday, tapping into strong liquidity for regional issuers.

  • CAIRO, Oct 3- Egypt's prime minister said on Wednesday that an International Monetary Fund team will come to Cairo in the last week of October to resume negotiations on a loan sought by Egypt. Egypt has been negotiating a $4.8 billion loan from the fund, but has indicated it may seek to increase that amount.

  • By Jason Hovet and Krisztina Than. PRAGUE/ BUDAPEST, Oct 3- The zloty jumped half a percent on Wednesday after the Polish central bank held interest rates, surprising analysts who had expected a cut to counter a slowdown in the region's largest economy.

  • BEIRUT-- A senior Lebanese security official says at least three explosions have ripped through a house in a Hezbollah stronghold in eastern Lebanon. The official says the cause of Wednesday's blasts near the city of Baalbek was not immediately clear, and that there were no reports of any casualties. Baalbek is located in the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon.

  • *Cityscape projects include $1 bln Taj Mahal replica. DUBAI, Oct 3- Developers unveiled billion-dollar projects and new high-end residential developments at Dubai's Cityscape property show this week, as optimism returned to the emirate's battered real estate sector.

  • LONDON/ MILAN, Oct 3- Offshore natural gas could dramatically change Greece's fortunes, should early estimates of $600 billion worth of reserves be confirmed, according to a study presented to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in June and seen by Reuters.

  • Oct 3- Here is a look at protests in Iran as clashes break out in Tehran over the collapse of the rial currency:. Several people are killed in Tehran and other cities when thousands take to streets.

  • KARACHI, Oct 3- Pakistani stocks closed higher on Wednesday as investors remained optimistic that more money will flow into the stock market after a monetary policy announcement scheduled for Friday, traders said.

  • Oct 3- Here is a look at protests in Iran as clashes break out in Tehran over the collapse of the rial currency:. Several people are killed in Tehran and other cities when thousands take to streets.

  • TEHRAN, Iran-- Police threatened merchants who closed their shops in Tehran's main bazaar and launched crackdowns on sidewalk money changers on Wednesday as part of a push to halt the plunge of Iran's currency, which has shed more than a third its value in less than a week.

  • KUWAIT, Oct 3- Kuwait's cabinet has asked the country's ruler to consider dissolving parliament, state news agency KUNA reported on Wednesday, in a widely expected bid to clear the way for a new election and end months of political deadlock.

  • Oct 3- Money supply in Qatar jumped 21.1 percent year-on-year at the end of August, the highest rate since September 2011, after a 12.1 percent rise in the previous month, the Gulf country's central bank data showed on Wednesday.

  • *Glencore bidding for shares in Xstrata not already owned. BRUSSELS/ LONDON, Oct 3- EU antitrust regulators have set a Nov. 8 deadline to decide on whether to allow trader Glencore's $33 billion takeover of miner Xstrata, after months of talks which the companies hope will help avoid forced sales or a lengthier, in-depth probe.

  • *China, Europe services PMI disappoint. LONDON, Oct 3- Crude oil prices fell on Wednesday as weak economic data from Europe and China dimmed the outlook for demand, adding to concerns arising from Europe's festering debt crisis. Brent November crude futures had fallen 96 cents to $110.61 a barrel by 1054 GMT.

  • SINGAPORE, Oct 3- Danish oil and shipping group A.P. Moller Maersk says it will talk to Vitol to determine whether one of its tankers was used by the trading house to ship Iranian fuel oil. The cargo was transferred aboard the Danish tanker from Vitol's floating storage off Malaysia, the document shows, and shipped to storage in Singapore.