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Bank Crisis Further Rattles Portugal Economy

Portuguese Economy Minister Antonio Pires de Lima admitted on Monday that a crisis engulfing the giant Banco Espirito Santo group could affect the country's recovery, but insisted Portugal's "upturn is stronger".

"The crisis in the Espirito Santo group will not do us good, but the recovery is stronger and it is there to stay," he told journalists.

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Yen Dips as Stocks Rally and Ukraine Tensions Ease

The yen eased in Asia Tuesday as news that pro-Russian rebels had handed over the black boxes of Flight MH17 eased concerns about the Ukraine crisis.

The losses in the Japanese unit, which is considered a safe bet in times of economic and political uncertainty, were in line with a regional stock market rally as confidence returned to financial markets.

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Credit Suisse Posts Heavy Loss after U.S. Tax Fine

Credit Suisse Tuesday posted a net second-quarter loss of 700 million Swiss francs (576 million euros, $778 million) as a multi-billion-euro U.S. tax evasion fine sent it deep into the red.

The Swiss banking giant paid a $2.6 billion settlement to U.S. authorities in May over tax evasion charges -- helping thousands of wealthy Americans hide money in offshore accounts to avoid taxes. 

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Australian Mogul Packer Gives away $188 Million

Billionaire James Packer, one of Australia's richest men, on Tuesday announced he was setting up a philanthropic foundation to give away Aus$200 million (US$188 million).

The casino tycoon, who runs worldwide gambling empire Crown, said the cash would go to charities promoting the arts and those supporting the broader community, particularly indigenous education.

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Japan Cuts Growth Outlook as Exports Hit, Imports Rise

Japan on Tuesday cut its fiscal year growth forecast for the world's number three economy, blaming weak exports and rising imports as well as the impact of April's sales tax hike on consumer spending and business confidence.

The Cabinet Office said it now expects expansion of 1.2 percent in the year to March, compared with a previous estimate of 1.4 percent.

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Russian Stocks, Ruble Fall over Ukraine Crisis

Russian stock markets fell on Monday as investors expressed alarm at the escalating crisis in Ukraine following the Malaysian plane disaster and the prospects of tougher sanctions doing more damage to the Russian economy.

Moscow's ruble-denominated Micex stock exchange was down 1.27 percent in late morning trading, while the dollar-denominated RTS was down 1.32 percent.

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Q&A: How Malaysia Airlines Can Salvage its Brand

Malaysia Airlines is in uncharted territory after the disappearance of Flight 370 in March with 239 people aboard was followed this week by the downing of another of its jets, carrying 298 people, over Ukraine.

Before the disasters the carrier had among the worst financial performance of any airline. An even bigger question mark now hangs over the future of Malaysia Airlines, with its brand tied to two almost unfathomable tragedies.

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U.S. Companies Report Rising Sales, Employment in 2Q

Rising sales helped boost hiring and wages at U.S. businesses in the second quarter, and companies are optimistic that the trends will continue this fall, according to a new survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

Fifty-seven percent of the 85 respondents to the quarterly survey said sales at their companies rose in the April-June period. That was up from 53 percent in the first quarter and 35 percent in the same period a year ago. Just 5 percent of firms said sales fell during the second quarter.

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Philips Reports 23% Profit Slump

Electrical appliance group Philips reported a 23 percent slump in net second quarter profit on Monday, to 243 million euros ($329 million).

The Dutch giant said in a statement sales were also down 5.4 percent to 5.3 billion euros.

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Report: Switzerland's Swatch to Open Stores in India

Swatch has applied to set up stores in India, a report said Saturday, as the Swiss-based watchmaker moves to tap a growing and increasingly accessory-conscious consumer class.

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