Morning business round-up: Draghi bond plan awaited


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

Markets are eagerly awaiting the comments of Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, who is expected to unveil details of a new bond-buying plan later, aimed at easing the eurozone's debt crisis.

In July, Mr Draghi had said that he would do "whatever it takes" to save the euro.

The ECB is expected to help cut the borrowing costs of debt-burdened eurozone members by buying their bonds.

However, Germany's Bundesbank is opposed to the idea.

The OECD has warned that the debt crisis in the eurozone is dragging down growth in the global economy.

The body cut its growth forecast for Germany - the main driver of growth in the eurozone - to 0.8% for this year from an earlier prediction of 1.2%.

The OECD trimmed its growth forecast for the US to 2.3% from 2.4%, but the UK's forecast was slashed to a contraction of 0.7% from 0.5% growth.

Qantas Airways has agreed to form a 10-year alliance with Emirates as it looks to turn around its loss-making international operations.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two carriers will collaborate on pricing, sales and flight scheduling, although there will be no equity investment on either side.

Qantas, which has been hurt by slowing demand, growing competition and higher fuel costs, said the alliance was key to reviving its international unit.

Qantas will end its existing relationship with British Airways and also shift its hub for European flights to Dubai from Singapore.

Lufthansa has cancelled hundreds of flights for this Friday as cabin staff stage another one-day strike at Germany's three busiest airports.

The strike was called by the UFO union on Wednesday for Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin airports.

Lufthansa has cancelled short and medium-haul flights but also services to and from Shanghai, Jakarta, Seattle and Los Angeles.

UFO and Lufthansa are arguing over pay and working conditions.

The probe comes after European manufacturers alleged that Chinese firms were selling panels below their market value.

There have been allegations that China is helping its firms to export cheaper panels by providing subsidies.

If found guilty, Chinese firms may face anti-dumping tariffs on panel exports.

Japan's biggest brokerage, Nomura Holdings, has unveiled a plan to cut a further $1bn in costs in an attempt to streamline its business.

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The bank said it would make cuts to its equities and investment banking units, mainly at its overseas operations.

The firm has struggled since picking up some of Lehman Brothers' units after the latter's collapse and has also been hurt by an insider trading scandal.

This is the second such move by Nomura in less than a year to cut costs.

South Korea's economy grew at a slower pace than previously estimated, hurt by a fall in capital investment and a slowdown in exports.

Growth was 2.3% between April and June, compared with a year earlier. That is slightly lower than the central bank's earlier estimate of 2.4%.

Compared with the previous quarter, the economy expanded by 0.3%, also missing the earlier estimate of 0.4%.

The latest Business Daily programme from the BBC World Service looks at whether crop failures in the US and Russia are threatening a food crisis for the world's hungriest people.

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