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OVERSEAS GROWTH. PRICELESS: MasterCard said its third quarter profit rose 14 percent as it got a boost from overseas growth and processed more payments. The amount people spent using MasterCard-branded cards rose almost 19 percent on a local-currency basis. That's close to twice the rate of growth in the U.S.

CONSUMER CREDIT: MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga said on a call with analysts that U.S. consumer credit growth was not where he'd like it to be, but "headed in the right direction."

NOT VISA: The results contrasted with those of Visa, the world's largest processor of debit and credit card payments. Visa said yesterday that its quarterly payments slumped 28 percent, and wasn't anticipating anything better than a slow economic recovery.