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British conglomerate Virgin Group announced a venture valued at $1 billion with Singapore Telecommunications to set up a mobile-phone network covering China, India, and South Korea. Under terms of the deal, the Singapore firm will put in the bulk of cash - $450 million in the initial years - and Virgin will offer its brand name and $50 million. The arrangement is the second Singapore deal for Virgin chief Richard Branson within six months - the first being Singapore Airlines' move to buy 49 percent of Virgin Atlantic.

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