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Morning business round-up: Greece ask IMF for more time

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

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Greece's Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, has called for more time to implement tough spending cuts and reforms, ahead of talks on its bailout.

Mr Samaras told German daily Bild that Greece needed "breathing space".

He will meet Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers later, and the French and German leaders later this week. At issue is whether Greece has done enough to receive its next instalment of loans worth 31.5bn euros (£24.7bn).

Failure to unlock the funds could lead to Greece defaulting on its vast public debt and possibly leaving the euro.

Closing arguments have been delivered in the US patent trial between the two biggest smartphone-makers in the world, Samsung and Apple.

Apple lawyers accused South Korea-based Samsung of copying Apple designs after realising it could not compete.

Samsung lawyers retorted saying a win for Apple would mean less choice for consumers. The jury in the trial, which is in its fourth week, starts deliberation on Wednesday.

Apple is asking for more than $2.5bn (£1.6bn) in damages from Samsung for violating its patented designs and features in the iPad and iPhone. It is also asking for a sales ban.

In return, Samsung has counter-sued, saying Apple infringed its patents for key wireless technology.

Japan has reported a wider-than-expected trade deficit in July, as slowing demand from China and Europe weighed on exports.

Exports fell 8.1% from the previous year, much more than the 2.9% drop economist were predicting. High oil prices have also increased the cost of energy imports, which Japan relies on for power generation.

Many Asian export economies have reported weak trade figures in recent months.

Japan saw a 25.1% plunge in overseas shipments to the European Union as the sovereign debt crisis continues to hurt demand. It was the biggest drop since October 2009.

The head of the International Monetary Fund is in Egypt to discuss an urgently-needed financial aid package for the country's struggling economy.

Christine Lagarde will meet President Mohammed Mursi and his new cabinet.

Finance Minister Mumtaz al-Said has said Egypt will be looking for a loan of $4.8bn (£3bn), up from the $3.2bn that had been mooted since last year.

It is needed to cover budget deficits resulting from shrinking tourism and foreign investment revenues.

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Foxconn, Apple's main manufacturer in China, has taken steps to improve working hours and conditions, said the US-based Fair Labor Association (FLA).

Health breaks and measures to guard against repetitive stress injury were some of the changes the FLA found after an inspection. The report said Foxconn was ahead of schedule in implementing the FLA's recommendations.

The review came after a number of suicides at Foxconn factories.

Apple asked the FLA to investigate workers' conditions at the Taiwan-based company after reports of safety violations and long working hours.

Danish wind turbine firm Vestas has announced plans to cut another 1,400 jobs as it prepares for a drop in business next year as demand slows.

The company cut its forecasts for the shipments of turbines this year, and said 2013 would be "even tougher".

Earlier this year, Vestas had said it would cut 2,335 jobs during 2012.

The latest cuts will reduce Vestas' total workforce to 19,000 and generate an extra 100m euros ($125m; £79m) in cost savings.

Australian miner BHP Billiton has reported a sharp drop in annual profits, due in part to weaker commodity prices.

Profit after tax for the year to the end of June was $15.4bn (£9.8bn), down 35% on the previous year. Revenue was virtually unchanged at $72.2bn.

It said it would delay plans to expand its Olympic Dam mine in Australia.

BHP added that weakness in manufacturing and construction sectors would continue to hit commodity prices.

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