Morning business round-up: Warning on Greece default

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

Standard & Poor's has warned that current proposals for restructuring Greece's debt would effectively constitute a default.

German and French banks have already agreed in principle to roll over loans to Greece, but the ratings agency said that such a move would trigger a default under its ratings criteria.

Shares in European banks lost ground following the downgrade.

Meanwhile, sales of retail goods in Australia fell unexpectedly in May, suffering their biggest drop in seven months.

Sales dropped 0.6% compared to the previous month, according to the country's bureau of statistics. Most analysts had expected a gain of 0.3%.

Other figures out on Monday showed that new Austrailian home approvals also fell for a second straight month.

In Asia, Japanese researchers say they have discovered vast deposits of rare earth minerals, which are used in many hi-tech appliances.

Geologists estimate there are about a 100bn tons of the rare elements in the mud of the Pacific Ocean floor.

Analysts say that if recovering the minerals from the seabed proves commercially viable, Japan could challenge China's dominance in rare earths. China currently produces 97% of the world's rare earth metals.

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Staying in Japan, Sony has been ranked top in a survey of Asia's most valuable brands by the marketing magazine Campaign.

The company gained the top spot despite hacking attacks earlier this year that compromised the personal details of 100 million PlayStation users.

Japanese and South Korean consumer electronics brands occupied the top five slots, with Sony trailed by Panasonic, LG, Samsung and Canon.

No Chinese brand names cracked the top 100.

Another Japanese firm in the news is Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), shares in which have jumped 20% after chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said he had no knowledge of any plan to break up the company.

Reports on Sunday suggested the government was in talks with Tepco about a possible break up.

Traders unwinding short positions also contributed to the jump, analysts said.

In Singapore, Tiger Airways has said it will hold crisis talks with Australian regulators to try and counter safety claims and resume its domestic operations.

The low cost carrier's aircraft were grounded in Australia on Saturday by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on safety concerns.

Shares in the company closed down almost 20% as a result, while shares in competitors Virgin Australia and Qantas rose.

Our Business Daily podcast today looks at who really benefits from the latest Greek bail-out - the country itself or the banks that lent it money in the first place?

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