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Morning business round-up: Samsung profits surge

What made the business news in Asia and Europe this morning? Here's our daily business round-up:

Samsung Electronics has said that it expects its profits to surge 79% in the second quarter as sales of its smartphones continue to grow.

It has forecast an operating profit of 6.7tn won ($5.9bn) for the period, its highest quarterly profit since 2008.

South Korean firm Samsung overtook Nokia as the world's biggest maker of mobile phones earlier this year.

In the business of sport, football's governing body, Fifa, says international player transfer numbers and buying fees have fallen sharply worldwide in the past six months.

Completed player deals fell by 9% in the first six months of 2012, but their total financial value plunged by more than a third, falling by 34%.

Total income from 4,973 transfers around the globe was $576m.

The drop may be due to continued global economic problems and the forthcoming Uefa financial fair play rules.

And talking of global economic woes, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has said that the organisation's next forecast for growth worldwide will be down from the 3.5% predicted in April.

Speaking at an economic symposium in Tokyo, she also hailed EU leaders' efforts to solve the debt crisis.

She said "significant steps" had been taken, but further reforms and strong implementation were needed.

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In other eurozone news, Italy's government has agreed to cut spending by 26bn euros ($32bn) over the next three years to plug the gap between spending and income.

The cuts, approved after seven hours of talks, include a 10% reduction in the number of civil servants and cuts to healthcare.

The cuts come as Italy struggles to keep the faith of investors, who are increasingly asking for higher rates of return for lending to the country.

And China's Alibaba Group has said that one of its former executives, Yan Limin, has been detained by police in China on "suspicion of accepting bribes".

Mr Yan was the former general manager of the Alibaba's Juhuasuan website, which specialises in group-buying.

Alibaba said it had fired Mr Yan in March for not following regulatory mechanisms and for mismanagement.

Alibaba, China's biggest e-commerce group, said it was assisting with the investigation.

Our latest Business Daily podcast asks: after two and a half years, can the eurozone disaster still be described as a crisis? We explode the myth of decoupling, showing how the pernicious effects of Europe's troubles are now spreading across the world.

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