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Canada court orders tobacco giants to set aside almost C$1 billion

TORONTO (Reuters) - A Canadian appeal court ruled against two major tobacco companies on Tuesday, ordering them to set aside a combined C$984 million ($742 million) while they challenge a historic damages payment awarded to smokers in the province of Quebec.

Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd - a subsidiary of British American Tobacco Plc - must put aside C$758 million and Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc - a subsidiary of Philip Morris International - must deposit C$226 million, the Quebec Court of Appeal said.

($1 = 1.3266 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Chris Reese

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