MOSCOW, Dec 18- Russia's rouble lost more ground against the dollar on Thursday before President Vladimir Putin's end-of-year news conference, expected to be dominated by what a government minister called a "perfect storm" hitting the economy. Putin has been silent as the currency collapsed this week before recovering some ground and is under pressure to show...» Read More
*Qatar Airways finalises order for 50 Boeing 777 X planes. *Airbus ahead in air show race, Boeing had the lead in H1.
TAIPEI, July 16- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, the world's largest contract chip manufacturer, expects revenue to grow at least a record 20 percent this year thanks to increased demand from smartphone makers like Apple Inc..
Earnings attributable to shareholders fell to $2.04 billion, or 19 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30 from $3.58 billion, or 32 cent per share, a year earlier.
FARNBOROUGH, England, July 16- China's Hainan Airlines said on Wednesday it planned to order 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes worth $5.1 billion at list prices.
CAIRO, July 16- Western consultants helping Egypt compile an economic reform plan say it needs at least $60 billion of investment to reach average GDP growth of 5 percent by 2018 and the same amount again to bolster its foreign reserves, senior officials said.
NEW YORK, July 16- BlackRock Inc, the world's largest money manager, reported an 11 percent jump in second-quarter profit on Wednesday, boosted by strong markets that helped drive flows into its products across asset classes. BlackRock's iShares exchange-traded funds business drove the bulk of the asset manager's long-term net flows during the quarter.
LONDON, July 16- As U.S. and EU policymakers have imposed targeted sanctions on Russian individuals and firms in response to the crisis in Ukraine, Western companies have sought to insulate their own projects from the political imbroglio and continue developing the country's vast oil and gas resources.
*IPO process kicked off with initial Tokyo application. TOKYO/ SEOUL, July 16- Tokyo may struggle to get a piece of a listing that could value Japan's social messaging service Line Corp at up to $20 billion, with bankers saying New York is a more likely venue as a base for global expansion to build on explosive growth at home.
HONG KONG/ BEIJING, July 16- When a fast-growing private equity firm co-founded by Jack Ma sought funding from institutional investors for the first time in early 2013, almost all had one major concern, its chairman said: was the firm independent from Ma, the influential executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding, China's e-commerce giant.
Boeing's stock soared nearly 80 percent last year, outperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index. But as indexes pushed higher this year, investors sent Boeing down 5.7 percent amid concern that the aviation business cycle may have peaked and that Boeing's ability to produce positive surprises is limited.
NEW YORK, July 16- Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell last week as interest rates edged up, an industry group said on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 3.6 percent in the week ended July 11.
July 16- Boeing Co is finalizing terms with China's Hainan Airlines Co Ltd for the sale of 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets worth $5.1 billion at current list prices.
But Russian shares fell for the third straight session, with a 0.5 percent fall as investors worried that Russia may be hit by another wave of sanctions for its involvement in Ukraine when European Union leaders meet later in the day.
*Experts see Israel mounting tunnel-hunting missions. GAZA/ JERUSALEM, July 16- Israel urged the evacuation on Wednesday of several Gaza Strip areas where more than 100,000 people live, threatening ground operations after briefly holding fire under an Egyptian truce proposal that failed to stop Palestinian rocket salvoes.
BRUSSELS, July 16- European Union leaders meet on Wednesday to discuss candidates for several top jobs in the 28- member union after the election of former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the executive European Commission.
ROME, July 16- Federica Mogherini is the front runner to be nominated on Wednesday as the European Union's new foreign policy chief for five years, even though the 41- year-old has only been Italy's foreign minister since February.
"The UAE Mars probe represents the Islamic world's entry into the era of space exploration. We will prove that we are capable of delivering new scientific contributions to humanity, "said UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan.
The New York- based asset manager reported net income of $808 million, or $4.72 per share, up from $729 million, or $4.19 per share, a year earlier.
*Portugal Telecom salvages Oi merger but cuts stake. *Portugal Telecom shares jump in relief. LISBON, July 16- Portugal Telecom has been forced to take a cut in its share of the merger with Brazil's Grupo Oi after a holding company of the Espirito Santo family failed to repay more than $1 billion it owed to the telco.
*BMW to double range of China- made cars to six- CFO. BERLIN, July 16- BMW said on Wednesday it will raise capacity at its two Chinese plants by a third to 400,000 cars over the next two years, increasing its presence in the world's largest auto market.