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The International Monetary Fund gave Brazil’s economic reforms its seal of approval, forecasting growth this year and offering Latin America’s largest economy the right to extra cash. The IMF’s statement was issued almost exactly a year after it approved an $18-billion loan to help Brazil recover from a dangerous loss of market confidence.

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Amada Co., Japan’s largest maker of metalworking machinery, has filed a lawsuit against Republic New York Corp. and two officers, accusing them of fraudulently inducing the firm to buy now-worthless securities from investment advisor Martin Armstrong. Amada seeks recovery of at least $123 million plus punitive damages. Armstrong, the founder and chairman of the investment advisory firm Princeton Economics International Inc., faces criminal charges that he defrauded Japanese corporate investors of about $1 billion. Prosecutors allege that Armstrong was running a “Ponzi scheme” in which early investors were paid off with funds from new investors until no new buyers were found and the value of the investments collapsed. Armstrong has denied the charges.


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