Morning business round-up: Tepco chief quits


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

The president of Tepco, which operates Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, has resigned as the firm reported a loss of 1.25tn yen ($15.3bn; £9.4bn) for the past financial year.

Masataka Shimizu will be replaced by managing director Toshio Nishizawa.

Tepco's loss is a record for a non-financial firm in Japan.

As speculation continues about who will take over from Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the top of the IMF, its acting managing director, John Lipsky, has said Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, would be "an excellent choice" to head the organisation.

Mr Lipsky has been temporarily in charge of the International Monetary Fund since Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested on suspicion of rape.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

In addition, Germany's Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, has said Europe would decide soon on a common candidate as its choice to lead the IMF.

"We need a common European candidate and we are looking for the one who is best qualified and has the best chance," said Mr Schaeuble.

The troubled UK retailer HMV has agreed to sell its Waterstone's book chain to a fund controlled by the Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut for £53m.

Mr Mamut already owns 6% of HMV, which has issued a string of profits warnings this year.

HMV has estimated debts of £170m and is under pressure to raise cash.

One of the owners of the oil well that leaked millions of gallons into the Gulf of Mexico last year has agreed to contribute to BP's compensation fund.

MOEX Offshore has agreed to pay $1.065bn (£657m) to BP to settle all claims between the companies relating to the Deepwater Horizon rig accident.

MOEX, a unit of Japanese trading house Mitsui, owned 10% of the Macondo well.

The Prelude project was announced on Friday and analysts believe it could cost between $8bn (£4.9bn) and $15bn.

It will provide 3.6m tonnes of gas per annum to meet growing Asian demand and come on-stream in 2016.

And McDonald's chief executive Jim Skinner has stood by the fast-food chain's trademark clown Ronald McDonald.

On Wednesday, a group of 550 healthcare workers wrote to McDonald's asking it to stop marketing to children using methods such as toys and the clown.

"Ronald McDonald is going nowhere," Mr Skinner told Thursday's shareholders' meeting.

For a wider look at the world of business, why not try our Business Daily podcast, which today asks should investors avoid Russia because of state interference, a flaky legal system, corruption and violence?

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