Business

Morning business round-up: Banking regulation reform

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

An independent commission has announced proposals for reform of the UK banking system.

Among its suggestions, the report has proposed that UK banks' retail operations should be "ring-fenced" from their investment banking arms, so that customers' deposits would not be put at risk in any future banking crisis.

The Chinese government has revealed that its economy has seen its first quarterly trade deficit in seven years.

For the first three months of the year the deficit stood at $1.02bn (£622m), according to the latest data by the General Administration of Customs.

Japanese auto manufacturer Toyota says it will suspend production at its North American plants in five one-day shutdowns this month due to the continuing scarcity of components parts following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

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The World Bank has issued a report calling for a rethink on the way government aid is spent.

The Bank calls for more of focus on building stable governments rather than on health and education.

The Chinese auto sector rebounded in March as car sales rose by 6.5%, compared with the same month a year ago.

A study by 200 European experts has estimated that nitrogen pollution from agriculture, industry and waste treatment is costing the European Union 320bn euros ($462bn) a year.

The report also suggests that nitrogen pollution, because it contributes to air pollution, is estimated to shorten the life of the average resident by six months

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