Morning business round-up: Developing countries warned


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

The World Bank has warned developing countries they need to be prepared for shocks as global economic growth slows.

The organisation has slashed its growth forecasts, and is now predicting a 0.3% contraction for the eurozone in 2012.

"Developing countries need to evaluate their vulnerabilities and prepare for further shocks, while there is still time," said World Bank chief economist Justin Yifu Lin.

Germany has lowered its economic growth forecast for 2012, a sign of the impact of the continuing eurozone debt crisis.

Europe's largest economy will grow by 0.7% this year, instead of the 1% the government predicted in October, Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said.

Key talks between Greece and its private creditors that could affect the country's future in the eurozone are expected to resume later.

The two parties are trying to agree loan write-offs of about 50% to help Greece slash its high debt levels.

The talks stalled last Friday as the two failed to reach agreement.

A deal is necessary if Greece is to receive the next tranche of the bailout cash it needs to pay its debts.

UK unemployment rose by 118,000 in the three months to November to 2.685 million, official figures show.

The Office for National Statistics said the unemployment rate also rose to 8.4% from 8.3%, the highest since January 1996.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

The forecast comes as BHP reported a 22% increase in iron ore output in the three months to the end of December.

The latest economic data from China has backed up the view that the economy there is cooling.

New home prices in 52 out of 70 Chinese cities fell in December from the previous month, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Foreign direct investment also fell for the second straight month in December.

The latest edition of Business Daily considers how Japanese corporate culture has been hit by the recent Olympus scandal.

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