Morning business round-up: BP to sell TNK stake


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

The company said it had received "unsolicited indications of interest" in acquiring its shares.

BP has informed the other shareholder in TNK-BP, Alfa Access Renova - which is owned by Russian billionaires - that it plans to pursue a sale.

It warned that there was no guarantee that such a transaction would take place.

The eurozone remains a focus of attention and the latest set of economic data gave further evidence of its weak state.

Unemployment in the eurozone was 11% in April, unchanged from March, but still the highest since records began in 1995.

Spain had the highest rate in the eurozone at 24.3%, while Austria had the lowest at 3.9%, according to the official figures from Eurostat.

A seasonally adjusted total of 17.4 million people were unemployed in the eurozone, up from 17.3 million.

In the 27-nation European Union, the jobless rate was 10.3%, up from 10.2%.

Meanwhile, the rate of contraction in Spain's manufacturing sector was worse than that of Greece in May, according to a business survey.

Markit's eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the whole eurozone dropped to 45.1 from 45.9 in April.

Any figure below 50 suggests a contraction in the sector.

Spain's figure of 42.0 was the worst in the bloc, dropping below Greece's level of 43.1.

The PMI data for China indicated that activity in the country's biggest and mainly state-owned factories had hit its lowest point this year due to weak domestic demand.

The index fell to 50.4 in May, whereas a reading of between 51.5 to 52.2 had been forecast. Analysts said China may now take action to stimulate its economy.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

Markit's manufacturing PMI for the UK showed that the sector turned in its worst performance for three years in May.

The index dropped to 45.9, down from 50.2 in April.

The British Chambers of Commerce slashed its forecast for economic growth this year, from 0.6% to 0.1%.

But the group, which represents more than 100,000 businesses, raised its growth prediction for 2013 from 1.8% to 1.9%.

The latest Business Daily podcast speaks to Danish economist Niels Thygesen, who helped design the European single currency and says he still wishes Denmark had joined the euro.

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