Morning business round-up: Eurozone rescue plan hopes


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

Once again, the question of how to address the eurozone debt problem has dominated the news agenda.

The outline of a large and ambitious eurozone rescue plan is taking shape, reports from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington have suggested.

It is expected to involve a 50% write-down of Greece's massive government debt, the BBC's business editor Robert Peston says.

The plan also envisages an increase in the size of the eurozone bailout fund to 2 trillion euros (£1.7tn; $2.7tn).

On the financial markets, bank shares have rallied as investors react to the latest attempts to stabilise Greece's debt crisis.

Global stock markets fell sharply last week, and Asian markets fell again on Monday.

However, after falling sharply in early trade, the main European stock markets rallied as the morning progressed, with French and German banks up strongly.

While share prices rose, commodity prices fell. The price of gold was down 2.7% to $1,606.73 an ounce, continuing recent declines from record highs, while the price of copper was down another 4%.

Away from the markets, all eyes in the aviation industry are on US planemaker Boeing, which will officially deliver its first 787 Dreamliner to Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) later, after three years of delays.

The Dreamliner had originally been scheduled for delivery in 2008, but Boeing has suffered a string of setbacks, the latest being an onboard fire during test flights in January.

The plane will be presented to ANA in Everett, Washington before being flown to Tokyo where it will arrive on Wednesday.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

Mongolia is seeking greater control of one the biggest mining projects in the country, which is being developed by Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe Mines.

The government said it wants to raise its stake in the Oyu Tolgoi project to 50% from 34%.

According to the original contract signed in 2009, Mongolia can increase its stake only after 30 years.

Hong Kong communications firm PCCW, which is owned by the son of tycoon Li Ka-Shing, is looking to raise as much as 10bn Hong Kong dollars ($1.3bn; £829m) in a share sale.

The company said it was planning to spin off its telecom unit into a publicly traded business trust.

A major slice of the money raised will be used to pay off the firm's debts.

It wants a 1p cut in the National Insurance paid by employers and for the 50p rate of income tax to be scrapped.

The BCC said that, if the economy had not improved by 2012, spending on health and overseas aid might have to be cut.

The latest edition of Business Daily from the BBC World Service asks how close we are to a second crunch and could this one be worse than the first?

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