A Greek flag waves as tourists enjoy the view atop of the ancient Acropolis hill in Athens. (Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)
E.U. approves bailout loans for Greece

Greece has won an essential batch of bailout funds from international creditors following an agreement among European regulators and can start looking forward to debt relief in the future.

In a meeting in Brussels that ended before dawn Wednesday, finance ministers from the 19 euro-zone countries approved Greece’s latest austerity and reform measures.

That paved the way for the ministers to also approve the payout of loans worth $11.5 billion to Greece in two installments by October. They also further discussed how to lighten Greece’s debt load.

— Associated Press

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is under SEC accounting investigation. (Nelson Ching/Bloomberg)
Alibaba says it’s under SEC accounting probe

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba wowed investors when it went public in the United States in September 2014. Yet its unorthodox business structure has raised eyebrows, it has been suspended from an anti-counterfeiting group and now U.S. regulators are investigating its accounting practices.

Alibaba disclosed in a regulatory filing that the Securities and Exchange Commission has requested documents and information related to the way it adds together earnings from its various divisions, and how it reports transactions with other companies it has a stake in, among other things.

U.S.-traded shares in Alibaba tumbled almost 7 percent in heavy trading Wednesday after news surfaced of the SEC probe.

Alibaba said it is cooperating with the SEC. Agency spokesman Kevin Callahan declined to comment Wednesday.

Alibaba is the world’s biggest e-commerce platform, with more than 420 million people buying $485 billion in goods last year on its sites. Its digital platforms, including Taobao and Tmall, make up 80 percent of Chinese e-commerce.

— Associated Press

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