Morning business round-up: Cyprus holds crisis talks

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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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Political leaders in Cyprus are meeting for emergency talks after its parliament overwhelmingly rejected an international bailout deal.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is meeting party leaders to hammer out a Plan B after a one-off tax on savings failed to get the support of any MPs.

Germany says banks in Cyprus may never reopen if a bailout is not agreed.

Cyprus's finance minister is in Moscow to seek help from Russia, which holds multi-billion dollar investments.

As a result of the uncertainty in Cyprus, the euro lost ground against a number of major currencies including the US dollar, the yen and the Australian dollar.

BBC business editor Robert Peston says the Cypriot bailout debacle shows how far the eurozone is from the kind of solidarity which many believe essential to the currency union's long-term survival.

In Asian news, South Korean officials are investigating a suspected cyber-attack that has paralysed computer networks at broadcasters and banks.

Broadcasters KBS, MBC and YTN told police their networks were halted around 14:00, Yonhap news agency said.

Two banks, Shinhan Bank and Nonghyup, said their networks were affected.

The exact cause of the problems remains unknown. Last week, North Korea accused the US and its allies of attacks on its internet servers.

In the UK, Chancellor George Osborne is preparing to deliver the country's annual Budget later on Wednesday.

Mr Osborne has said he will "tackle the economy's problems head on" and help "those who want to work hard and get on".

The government is under pressure after output shrank at the end of 2012 and the UK lost its triple A credit rating.

There will be more cuts to fund infrastructure projects, but the opposition Labour party is urging Mr Osborne to "change course".

In the run-up to the Budget, there was further gloomy news for the UK economy when official figures showed that unemployment had gone up by 7,000 to 2.52 million between November and January.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in February fell by 1,500 to 1.54 million, the lowest level since June 2011, the Office for National Statistics said.

Despite the unemployment rise, the overall figure held at 7.8%.

The latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service asks: what is going on in Cyprus? With the Cypriot parliament rejecting a bailout deal, and the EU standing tough, who will blink first?

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  2.  
    BANKER BONUSES 07:32: BBC Radio 4

    Barclays boss Antony Jenkins tells the Today programme his bank can already take action against mis-behaving bankers: "If someone has done something wrong and performed badly we have the right too claw the bonus back today."

     
  3.  
    HEADLINES
  4.  
    BARCLAYS PROFITS 07:27: BBC Radio 4

    Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays is on the Today programme: "These are an encouraging set of results... Our capital position has never been stronger."

     
  5.  
    ITV PROFITS 07:27:

    ITV boss Adam Crozier says the broadcaster's "share of viewing" improved during its second quarter helped by the World Cup. He says he is confident of ITV's Autumn schedule of both new and returning drama and entertainment will help keep audience figures high. Meanwhile, ITV has benefitted from the economic recovery - specifically an improved advertising market.

     
  6.  
    BARCLAYS PROFITS 07:19:

    Investment bank income at Barclays fell 18%, reflecting a fall in customers. This follows allegations about malpractice in "dark pool" trading. Essentially, these are private stock markets and are the latest area of banking to be probed by regulators.

     
  7.  
    ITV PROFITS 07:19:

    ITV says total external revenues rose 7% to £1.2bn in the six months to 30 June, while revenue from its online, pay and interactive TV unit was up 20% to £67m.

     
  8.  
    BARCLAYS PROFITS 07:13:
    Barclays logo

    More on Barclays: Statutory pre-tax profit was £2.5bn (2013: £1.7bn), reflecting the fact bank had to set aside another £900m for PPI redress Read the full release here.

     
  9.  
    ITV PROFITS 07:10:
    ITV logo

    A strong set of numbers from broadcaster ITV this morning. Annual pre-tax profits are up 40% to £250m in the six months to 30 June compared with £179m for the same period last year.

     
  10.  
    BARCLAYS PROFITS 07:03:

    Barclays profit before tax is down 10% at £3.84bn.

     
  11.  
    BRITISH GAS BOSS 07:03:
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    In all the excitement over bankers' bonuses we nearly forgot this. British Gas owner Centrica has succeeded in its pursuit of Iain Conn, confirming he will become its new chief executive from January 2015, succeeding Sam Laidlaw who is retiring. Mr Conn joins from BP where he has been chief executive, of BP's refining and marketing division,for the past seven years.

     
  12.  
    BARCLAYS PROFITS 06:52: BBC Radio 4
    Pedestrians pass a branch of Barclays Bank in the rain in London

    Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets is talking to the Today programme about Barclays interim results - coming up imminently. He says the investment banking arm of Barclays is "not listening" to new boss Antony Jenkins who has been trying to clean up the bank's reputation and practices.

     
  13.  
    DRIVERLESS CARS 06:44:
    Nissan car

    It's going to be a bank-heavy day today let's face it, but just to provide a break from all that, the government will be announcing changes in the law that will pave the way for driverless cars to take to Britain's roads next year. The government wants the UK to become a leader in developing the technology. In December, the Treasury said it would create a £10m prize to fund a town or city to become a testing ground for the cars.

     
  14.  
    MUSLIM ACCOUNTS 06:36:

    HSBC has told three Muslim organisations it will close their bank accounts. These are the Finsbury Park Mosque in North London, a think-tank on Islamic issues called the Cordoba Foundation based in West London, and a Muslim charity in Bolton called the Ummah Welfare Trust, which works in 20 countries giving aid. HSBC says the decisions were "absolutely not based on race and religion".

     
  15.  
    BANKER BONUSES 06:30: Radio 5 live

    More from Ms Mangwana on Wake Up to Money. She says the proposed seven year rule may be more about changing culture in banking and the way in which bankers view their bonuses. But she also points out bonuses are generally paid in tranches that vest over a number of years, already (commonly anything between three and five years). "That's the current formula and there are [already] mechanisms to reclaim those bonuses," she says.

     
  16.  
    TWITTER SHARES 06:21:
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    In case this happened too late for you, Twitter shares rocketed 30% on stronger-than-expected financial results. Revenue more than doubled in the second quarter. Shares rose to $50 in after hours trading. Still down on its high of $74.73, hit in December.

     
  17.  
    BANKER BONUSES 06:10: Radio 5 live

    Samantha Mangwana, employment lawyer at Slater Gordon told Wake Up to Money seven years is a long time to hold a bonus and regulators may well find it difficult to reclaim money. It is highly likely bankers will have gone and spent the money already, she says, and have nothing that the Bank of England can reclaim.

     
  18.  
    BANKER BONUSES 06:07: BBC World News
    Tom Stephenson

    Those new rules on bankers' bonuses are expected to recommend a claw-back period of seven years. Tom Stephenson from Fidelity Worldwide on BBC World News says they could have been tougher: "One of the suggestions was that bankers could be jailed for a significant fall in profits - that's quite something isn't it. Even so, being able to claw back bonuses for seven years is pretty draconian."

     
  19.  
    06:02: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Good morning folks. It's looking like a busy day today. We also have trading updates from ITV and house builder Taylor Wimpey. As always you can get in touch via email at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk and on twitter @bbcbusiness

     
  20.  
    06:00: Rebecca Marston Business reporter, BBC News

    Welcome again to the Live page. We're going to be banking heavy. There's Barclays results - in about an hour - and later this morning the Bank of England will release new restrictions on bankers' bonuses, said to be the toughest in the world. We'll see.

     

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