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SYDNEY, Jan 28 AAP

January 28 2013, 08:23AM

A roundup of news in finance, economics and business from around the world:

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

DAVOS - The fragile state of the global economy and a host of other woes - from Syria's escalating war to the rocky fallout from the Arab Spring - dominated the annual meeting of the global elite at Davos, casting a sense of uncertainty and foreboding over what lies ahead.

YANGON, Myanmar - The World Bank (WB) has announced a long-awaited deal to allow Myanmar to clear part of its huge decades-old foreign debt, opening the door for new much-needed lending to jump-start its lagging economy.

HANOI - Vietnam has inked a deal with firms from Japan and Kuwait to build an oil refinery complex worth nearly $US9 billion ($A8.65 billion) as part of efforts to meet its growing energy needs.

JOHANNESBURG - Top global platinum miner Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) may put on hold restructuring plans that threaten 14,000 jobs in South Africa, a local newspaper has reported.

BAGHDAD - Iraqi energy officials have signed an oil exploration agreement with a Kuwait-led group, finalising a deal that was altered to expel a Turkish firm amid worsening ties with Ankara.

DUBAI - Dubai's government-run oil company says it has started importing supplies from Qatar and is seeking other sources in apparent moves to replace Iranian crude lost because of international sanctions.

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi oil minister has reiterated an ultimatum to US energy giant ExxonMobil: to choose between working in southern Iraq and a controversial exploration deal with the autonomous Kurdish region.

LONDON - British no-frills airline easyJet announced Sunday that its chairman Mike Rake is to step down this year, following a long battle with the company's founder and largest shareholder Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

WELLINGTON - The New Zealand dollar was firm during the weekend but started drifting off on Monday with trading reduced by holidays in Auckland and Australia.

LONDON - Global oil prices have advanced, buoyed by a weakening US dollar, upbeat German economic data and gains on European stock markets, dealers said.

LOCAL NEWS

SYDNEY - The Australian stock markets are closed on Monday for the Australia Day public holiday.

MELBOURNE - The Australian share market is expected to open higher when trading resumes on Tuesday.

CANBERRA - Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey insists a coalition government will deliver a surplus in its first year, even though the pledge is not mentioned in a new policy document.

SYDNEY - More than two million official land valuations in NSW will be examined by a new inquiry, prompted by concerns that property owners are overpaying land tax and council rates.

SYDNEY - All of Orica's facilities should be investigated after the NSW environmental regulator announced it would probe mercury emissions at one of the chemical company's former Sydney sites, the Greens say.