Morning business round-up: US-UK Libor reform talk


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

Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King has proposed that central bank governors and regulators should discuss possible reform of Libor at a meeting in September.

The governor told fellow central bankers in a letter that it was "very clear that radical reforms of the Libor system are needed". The move comes after the Barclays Libor inter-bank rate-rigging scandal.

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday that reforming Libor must be a multi-national effort.

At least 80 people have been arrested after violent clashes between workers and managers at a Maruti Suzuki factory near the Indian capital, Delhi.

A senior factory official died and more than 85 were injured, including two Japanese nationals, in the riot at the Manesar plant on Wednesday evening. Maruti, India's biggest carmaker, has halted production at the factory.

Managers and workers blame each other for starting the clashes, which follow months of troubled labour relations.

The average yield on bonds repayable in five years rose to 6.46%, against 6.07% at an auction last month.

The average yield on seven-year bonds was 6.7%, up from 4.83% last time.

Investor demand for the bonds fell, with the issue 2.1 times oversubscribed, compared with 3.4 times in June.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

Nokia made losses of 1.41bn euros (£1.1bn; $1.7bn) in the last three months, as the mobile phone maker lost more market share to Samsung and Apple.

Sales fell 19% to 7.54bn euros, with smartphone sales falling 34% to 1.54bn euros.

The company said it had sold four million Lumia smartphones, which have Microsoft's Windows software, in line with the market's forecast.

EBay reported net income of $692m (£442m) for the three months to the end of June, up from the $283m the company made in the same period a year earlier.

The online retailer and auction site said its income doubled in the second quarter after higher revenue from its PayPal payment business.

Revenue for the business rose by 23% to $3.4bn, slightly above analysts' expectations of $3.36bn.

EBay shares rose 5% in after-hours trading following the results, despite forecasting slightly lower-than-expected earnings for the current quarter.

In our latest Business Daily podcast, we look at the biggest potential casualty of them all - Italy - which this week saw its banks' credit ratings cut yet again, with Prime Minister Mario Monti declaring Sicily effectively bankrupt. Plus, why bamboo could be the new miracle cash-crop.

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