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Today in business: 5 things you need to know
Bloomberg eyes The Financial Times, China's economy roars, and more in our roundup of the business stories that are making news and driving opinion
By 2030, China will likely boast the world's largest economy.
By 2030, China will likely boast the world's largest economy. ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

1. BLOOMBERG CONSIDERS BUYING THE FINANCIAL TIMES
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the multi-billionaire owner of Bloomberg LP, is reportedly considering buying Britain's The Financial Times, one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world. While such a deal would undoubtedly boost Bloomberg's stature in the media universe, it remains unclear whether the FT, which many speculate operates at a loss, would ever add much to his company's bottom line. An FT purchase would also include a 50 percent stake in The Economist magazine. [The New York Times]

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2. CHINA TO BECOME WORLD'S BIGGEST ECONOMY BY 2030
China will become the world's largest economy by 2030, though India will be close on its heels, according to a wide-ranging report from the U.S. government that is intended to shape the decisions of policy-makers in the coming years. The report, "Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds," projects that the economies of Europe, Japan, and Russia "are likely to continue their slow relative declines," while the U.S. will be buoyed by a period of energy independence. The gap between India and China "could begin to close by 2030." The report was prepared by the National Intelligence Council, a unit of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. [NBC]

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3. EUROPE URGES ITALY TO ENACT FISCAL REFORMS
Leaders of the European Union are encouraging the Italian government to enact fiscal reforms put into motion by outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti, who took markets by surprise this weekend by announcing his resignation after a year in power. Monti's technocratic cabinet has been widely praised by Europe's mandarin class for cobbling together a reform package intended to shore up Italy's finances and prevent panic in bond markets. However, the reforms were unpopular in Italy, and Monti decided to resign after the party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi withdrew its support. Berlusconi will be running to succeed Monti in February 2013 elections. [Reuters]

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4. STANDARD CHARTERED TO PAY FINES FOR IRANIAN TRANSFERS
Standard Chartered, Britain's second-largest bank, agreed to pay $327 million to settle charges that it had facilitated transactions for Iranian clients that violated U.S. sanctions. The penalty is to be divvied up between the Federal Reserve, the Department of Justice, the District Attorney of New York, and the Treasury Department. The bank has already paid $340 million to reach a separate settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services. [Bloomberg]

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5. MCDONALD'S POSTS STRONG SALES
McDonald's, the world's largest fast-food chain, reported that global sales rose 2.4 percent in November for restaurants that have been open at least 13 months. The sales were far better than expected, and came as a welcome boost after the company reported its first-ever monthly decline in sales the previous month. The comeback was attributed to a renewed focus on the chain's "Dollar Menu" of cheaper offerings. [The Wall Street Journal]

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