Morning business round-up: Softbank eyes Sprint


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

Shares in Japanese mobile phone company Softbank fell 16.9% in Tokyo after confirmation that it is in takeover talks with Sprint Nextel.

The potential deal to buy the number three US carrier would make Softbank one of the world's three biggest mobile phone operators.

Sprint shares closed 14.3% higher in the US.

There are reports that Softbank could also be considering a bid for US mobile operator MetroPCS Communications.

In other company news, South Korea's Samsung can now sell its Galaxy Nexus phone in the US again, after the US Court of Appeals overturned a ban sought by rival Apple.

The court took issue with the ban, issued in June by a California district court, on the grounds that the lower court had "abused its discretion in entering an injunction".

Earlier this month, a sales ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in the US was also lifted.

Samsung and Apple are involved in a legal tussle over patent infringement claims.

And shares in the London-listed Indonesian coal miner Bumi have surged after Indonesia's powerful Bakrie family proposed to split from the firm.

Bumi shares rose 13%, on top of a 40% increase on Thursday.

The family has offered to buy back its assets from Bumi for an estimated $1.4bn (£873m).

Bumi owns a stake in key Bakrie assets and there have been tensions between the two over potential irregularities at one of the Bakrie firms.

Singapore's economy contracted in the July-to-September period, but has narrowly avoided a technical recession.

Gross domestic product shrank 1.5% compared with the previous three months, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said.

However, growth in the April-to-May quarter was revised from a contraction of 0.7% to slight growth of 0.2%.

Asian countries have seen growth slow as a result of dwindling exports to Europe, the US and China.

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In Europe, there's renewed concern over the health of the UK economy after figures showed that activity in the country's construction sector, which has been a significant drag on growth, contracted again in August.

Construction activity in the month was down 11.6% from the same month in 2011 and down 0.9% from July's level, according to official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Meanwhile, the head of the Financial Services Authority has suggested that it may be time for more unconventional policies to revive Britain's stagnant economy.

Lord Turner said reducing private, business and government debt following the financial crisis could impact economic growth for many years.

He is seen as one of the leading candidates to take over as the next governor of the Bank of England.

The latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service goes go deep into the mighty Hoover Dam to explore the challenges of the US's changing climate. The programme explores how the driest city in the country has been successfully saving water.

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