Morning business round-up: World Bank nominees due

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

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Candidates to be the next president of the World Bank are being announced as the deadline for nominees approaches.

Nigeria, South Africa and Angola have endorsed the nomination of Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The US is yet to name its candidate, but former White House adviser Larry Summers has been mentioned.

Indian airlines will not comply with the European Union's carbon trading scheme, according to civil aviation minister Ajit Singh.

The EU has directed Indian carriers to submit emission details of their aircraft by 31 March, but Mr Singh told parliament that "no Indian carrier is submitting them in view of the position of the government".

There was outrage in India's parliament after a draft report by government auditors estimated India had lost $210bn (£133bn) by selling coalfields too cheaply.

Opposition politicians accused the government of "looting the country" by selling coalfields to companies without competitive bidding, but the auditor says the leaked draft is "exceedingly misleading".

Japan, China and South Korea have moved closer to signing a trilateral investment agreement that could pave the way for a free-trade deal.

If signed it would be the first economic agreement that is backed by law between three of Asia's largest economies.

Japanese investigators have searched the offices of AIJ Investment Advisors, the scandal-hit pension and money management firm.

AIJ is being investigated after it failed to account for 185.3bn yen ($2.2bn; £1.4bn) of client funds.

The company was also stripped of its registration, effectively ending its ability to operate as an asset manager.

Business headlines

In the UK, telecoms firm BT says it will pay £2bn into its pension fund to help cover the scheme's deficit.

It is one of the biggest one-off payments yet made by a British company into a pension fund.

British banks needs to raise fresh capital as soon as feasible, according to a new Bank of England regulator.

Although banks have been bolstering their finances, they still do not have enough funds in reserve to withstand potential financial trouble, the Financial Policy Committee said.

Credit Suisse has halved the total pay for its chief executive, Brady Dougan, following the Swiss bank's poor performance last year when net profit slumped 62%.

Mr Dougan still made $6.37m (£4m) in 2011, roughly split between a basic salary and share awards.

The latest edition of the BBC's Business Daily programme looks at future food prices and asks what African governments can do to further agricultural productivity.

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BBC Business Live

  1.  
    BEER 08:29: Radio 5 live

    Colin Valentine of Campaign for Real Ale is on 5 live telling us beer is just as good for us as wine. There is some science behind his claim, he says. Alas, it is only healthy in moderation, according to Mr Valentine. "When people talk about beer bellies it's not just the beer we are talking about," he said.

     
  2.  
    SPIRITS TUMBLE 08:21:
    Diageo Claive Vidiz Collection

    It's a rough morning for shares in the makers of some of the world's best-known spirits. Diageo, the owner of Johnnie Walker, is down 3.8% and Remy Cointreau is down 6.2%. Remy warned that annual operating profits could be down as much as 40%. Diageo reported that sales in the three months to the end of March fell 1.3%.

     
  3.  
    NEW CAR SALES 08:02:
    New cars, Sheerness Kent

    Demand for new cars in the European Union increased for the seventh month in a row in March, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. It says car registrations rose 10.6% last month. The UK was the strongest of the major markets with a 17.7% rise, Italy was the weakest with a 5% increase.

     
  4.  
    HEADLINES
     
  5.  
    FRANCE DEFICIT 07:48:

    France will slightly slow the pace of its deficit reduction, according to the French Finance Minister, Michael Sapin. In an interview on RTL radio he said that the move had been discussed with European partners. Last week new French Prime Minister Manuel Valls vowed to cut both taxes and spending in a bid to make the French economy more competitive.

     
  6.  
    GOOGLE 07:37: BBC Radio 4
    Google logo

    Google's core business is getting a little "dodgy" according Larry Magid, technology analyst for the website C-Net on Today. They are not getting the revenue on phones that they are on the web, he says. "Some of the crazy ideas have got to get a little less crazy and more profitable," he says, referring to new businesses like robotics and drones.

     
  7.  
    DIAGEO 07:26:
    whisky

    The maker of Johnnie Walker whisky Diageo said sales in the three months to the end of March dipped 1.3%, led by a 19% drop in Asia because of political instability in Thailand and weaker China demand. India, where the firm is trying to buy United Spirits, delivered sales growth of at least 10% it said.

     
  8.  
    REMY COINTREAU 07:18:
    glass of scotch

    A cut in ostentatious spending by Chinese officials will hit profit for Remy Cointreau, the French distiller said. Full-year operating profit will fall as much as 40%, as sales in cognac fell 32% in the fourth quarter. The maker of Remy Martin cognac, Cointreau liqueur and Mount Gay Rum said sales for the three months to the end of March fell 16% to 186 million euros (£153m)

     
  9.  
    MULBERRY 07:14:
    Mulberry bags

    Handbag maker, Mulberry is introducing a "more affordable product" as it attempts to reinvigorate sales. It has also warned that pre-tax profit for the year to 31 March will be "marginally" below current expectations. The firm is looking for a new chief executive after the departure of Bruno Guillon last month.

     
  10.  
    CURRY 07:07:
    lamb curry

    A third of lamb curries tested by the Foods Standards Agency were found to contain cheaper meat. While no horsemeat was found in the watchdog's 145 samples, 25 were found to be just beef with no lamb.

     
  11.  
    CHINA WOMEN 07:02: BBC Radio 4

    In China there is an official phrase "left over women". It refers to single, urban women over the age of 27. On Today Leta Hong Fincher from Tsinghua University, says that Chinese state media has been insulting these women with the phrase and pressuring them into finding a husband and settling down.

     
  12.  
    HORSE RACING 06:48: BBC Radio 4
    Future Champion Novices" Steeple Chase

    40% of the population will watch some kind of horse racing during the year, claims Simon Bazalgette, chief executive of the Jockey Club on the Today Programme. That's why sponsors from the Middle East and big companies are keen to get involved in the sport, he says.

     
  13.  
    CO-OP GROUP 06:35: BBC Radio 4

    "Turkeys" and "angry birds" is how Michael Mol, professor of strategic management at Warwick Business School refers to senior managers at Co-operative Group on Today. He is "very worried" about their ability to take the right decisions. He thinks Co-op Group will have to find money to invest in the struggling Co-op Bank, despite only now owning 30% of the lender.

     
  14.  
    EASTER EGGS 06:25: Radio 5 live

    Are the walls of chocolate Easter eggs getting thinner? Yes, says Lee McCoy, editor of Chocolate Reviews, on 5 live. More shocking, there may be a shortage of the Easter treats. It seems Tesco have run out of a number of lines, especially eggs made by Cadbury and Nestle, as well as some Lindt and Mars eggs, the Daily Telegraph reports.

     
  15.  
    FOOTBALL 06:13: Radio 5 live
    Danny Mills, Robbie Savage, 2004

    More from Danny Mills. He's invested in a pasty company through private equity, but would he invest in football? Five-year contracts for staff (footballers) and the highest sporting wages in the world mean it's a game for "billionaires" he said. "You can't blame the footballers," he said, as anyone would take the money offered. Picture above shows Danny in his playing days, exchanging views with fellow BBC pundit Robbie Savage.

     
  16.  
    PASTIES 06:06: Radio 5 live
    Pasties

    Former England and Leeds footballer Danny Mills is part of an investment group that has bought West Cornwall Pasty Company from administrators. He tells 5 live: "There's a gap where banks just aren't lending," he said. The original company's strategy was "too aggressive" and expanded too quickly, which led to its demise. He blamed the pasty tax for the rising price of pasties.

     
  17.  
    CO-OP GROUP 06:01: Radio 5 live

    Michael Mol, professor of strategic management at Warwick Business School is on 5 live talking about Co-operative Group, which releases earnings today. "You have two different issues: the bank issue with huge losses," he said and "the group facing losses from the Somerfield acquisition". More losses could be on the way if they don't reform their governance structure, he said. They also have too many lay members who "don't know how to run a business," he said.

     
  18.  
    GOOGLE 06:00:
    Google building

    Google is likely to be under scrutiny today after it released results late on Wednesday that some considered disappointing. Google still made $3.45bn (£2.05bn) in its first quarter. But some are expressing concern about a surge in costs. That reflects Google's move into new businesses, including robotics and drones.

     
  19.  
    06:00: Howard Mustoe, Business Reporter

    Hello from me. Keep in touch via @BBCBusiness and bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk.

     
  20.  
    06:00: Ben Morris Business Reporter

    Good morning! Watch out for results from Co-operative Group due at 09:00. You can expect Google to be in focus today as well, releasing results which some investors consider disappointing.

     

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