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WSJ: Portugal Bank Got Goldman Sachs Loan before Collapse

Goldman Sachs stands to lose money on a multi-million euro loan it made to one of Portugal's largest banks a month before it collapsed, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The U.S. investment bank made the $835-million (635-million-euro) loan in July through a Luxembourg financing vehicle it created at a time when Banco Espirito Santo, on the verge of bankruptcy, found it nearly impossible to borrow money directly in capital markets, the newspaper said.

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As Woes Mount, Economic Stats Vanish in Venezuela

Prices keep rising in Venezuela, economic activity is sputtering and shops struggle to fill their shelves.

But don't ask the central bank how bad things really are: it hasn't published key data in months.

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Alibaba IPO Comes with Unusual Structure

Foreigners who want to buy Alibaba Group shares in the Chinese e-commerce giant's U.S. public offering will need to get comfortable with an unusual business structure.

Alibaba's online and mobile commerce businesses will be controlled by a "variable interest entity," an arrangement meant to allow investors to buy into Internet and other businesses in which Beijing bans or limits foreign ownership.

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Heineken Says Selling Mexican Packaging Business for $1.2 bn

Dutch brewing giant Heineken on Monday announced selling Mexican-based packaging business Empaque to U.S.-based Crown Holdings in a deal worth more than one billion dollars.

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'Blair-Like' PM Divides French Socialists

Splits in France's ruling Socialist Party, which sparked an emergency government reshuffle last week, continue to widen as members on the left flank snipe at a prime minister they see as attempting a "Tony Blair"-style lurch to the right.

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CaixaBank to Buy Barclays Spain Operations

Spain's third-biggest bank by capitalisation CaixaBank is to buy Barclays' Spanish operations for 800 million euros ($1.1 billion) as the British bank undergoes major restructuring, Barclays said on Sunday.

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Hollande Announces EU Summit on Economy in Italy October 6

French President Francois Hollande announced on Saturday that EU leaders would hold a summit in Italy in early October aimed at boosting growth and jobs in the bloc.

"We supported the proposal of (Italian Prime Minister) Matteo Renzi to have a summit of the 28 (EU member states) in Italy on October 6," Hollande told reporters after a meeting of center-left leaders in Paris.

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Ecuador Heralds Digital Currency Plans

Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, the U.S. dollar.

The electronic money, which Central Bank officials say they expect will start circulating in December, does not have a name and officials would not disclose technical details, though they said it would not be a crypto-currency like Bitcoin. The amount of the new currency created would depend on demand.

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IMF Board Expresses Confidence in Lagarde

The board of the International Monetary Fund reiterated its support for Managing Director Christine Lagarde Friday, after a French court placed her under formal investigation in a graft scandal.

"As we have said before, it would not be appropriate to comment on a case that has been and is currently before the French judiciary," it said in a statement.

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S&P Sets New Record Despite Rising Ukraine Tensions

The S&P 500 closed August with another record Friday, continuing its slow climb even as tensions pick up in Ukraine and after Britain warned of a possible terror attack.

The broad-market gauge pushed back above 2,000, the milestone it closed above for the first time on Tuesday, to finish at 2,003.37, up 6.63 points (0.33 percent) for the day.

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