Morning business round-up: Adidas hit by Reebok woes

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

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Adidas, the world's second largest sportswear maker, has reported a loss for the last three months of 2012, mainly owing to impairment charges relating to its Reebok brand.

The group reported a fourth-quarter operating loss of 239m euros ($311m; £207m) after it adjusted assumptions about the rate of growth at Reebok.

It wrote off 265m euros to reflect lower growth predictions for the brand. Reebok's poor performance has been largely in the Americas, including North America, Brazil and Latin America.

For 2012 as a whole, Adidas' operating profit fell by 3.4% to 920m euros.

In other European corporate news, Carrefour, the world's second largest retailer and Europe's biggest supermarket chain, says the year ahead will be tricky as recessions in Italy and Spain have hit demand.

The company said it would increase spending on its hypermarkets by about 2.2bn euros (£1.9bn, $2.9bn) to try to revive sales and profits.

Its operating income, which excluded one-off gains and losses, fell by 2.6% last year to 2.1bn euros.

The Bank of England's rate-setting committee has kept interest rates at 0.5% and rejected calls to inject more stimulus into the economy.

The decision means the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has now kept rates at historic lows for four years.

There had been speculation that the bank would increase its quantitative easing programme, to try to stimulate the economy.

The European Central Bank will announce its latest rates decision later, with no change from the record low of 0.75% expected.

Earlier on Thursday, the British Chambers of Commerce said it had cut its economic growth forecast for the UK economy this year to 0.6% from a previous prediction of 1%.

The communications director of troubled Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) has died in an apparent suicide.

David Rossi's body was found beneath an open window at the bank's 14th Century headquarters in Siena.

Mr Rossi was among several MPS employees whose homes and offices were searched by police last month - though no charges were brought against him.

MPS, which is the world's oldest surviving bank, is at the centre of fraud and corruption allegations.

In Asia, an attempt by Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia to set up an airline in India has won approval from the Indian government.

It would be the first foreign company to try to capture the rising demand in India's aviation sector.

AirAsia India would be a joint venture with the well-known Tata Group, based in Chennai in South India.

India's aviation industry, which has suffered major losses, was opened to foreign investment last year, with the government now allowing foreign companies to own up to 49% of a local airline.

Lady Gaga's production company and two concert promoters have filed a lawsuit against three Lloyd's of London insurance syndicates.

The three companies claimed that the insurers failed to pay out on a terrorism policy taken out before a planned concert in Indonesia last June.

The gig, for which more than 50,000 tickets were sold, was cancelled after threats made by an Islamic group.

Finally, with the Geneva motor show underway, we report on how South Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia are seeking to expand in the European car market.

For an in-depth examination of the business issues behind the headlines, listen to the latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service. The latest issue focuses on the Occupy Movement, and considers whether the movement had any real impact on the financial world which it set out to change.

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