Morning business round-up: European shares drop

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

European shares have recovered slightly from Monday's sharp falls as investors shook off rising Spanish bond yields and worsening forecasts of Greek economic contraction.

Alibaba.com said its profit in the first quarter dipped by 25% amid falling membership sales and higher operating costs.

It reported a net profit of 339.2m yuan ($54m; £33m) for the period, down from 452.2m yuan a year earlier.

It reported operating losses of 178bn won ($156m; £97m) for the first quarter of 2012.

In the UK, the UK government borrowed more than expected in March, official figures have shown.

The number of homes sold in the UK rose sharply in March as the typical spring bounce took hold, HM Revenue and Customs said.

Media caption, Biz Heads

The case centred on a deal in film distribution rights and involved investors including Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

And Arm Holdings, which designs chips used in smartphones such as iPhones, reported rising profits and revenues.

The latest Business Daily podcast asks how do you build an economy in a country which most of the world denies even exists? That's the challenge facing Abkhazia - which broke away from Georgia in a bloody war after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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