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Morning business round-up: Gas golden age

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

The International Energy Agency has heralded the start of a golden age for gas, as plentiful supplies meet rising demand in Asia.

But the latest report from the Paris based organisation also warned that the availability of cheap gas from shale or coal bed methane may undermine investment in cleaner forms of energy - such as nuclear or wind.

In Asia Singapore Airlines has announced a code share deal with Virgin Atlantic.

If approved, the deal would mean the two carriers can sell tickets and seats on each other's international and domestic flights.

Prada wants to raise $2.6bn (£1.59bn) in a Hong Kong share offering.

The BBC has learned that the privately owned company wants to sell 423.3 million shares to investors in a range of 36.50 to 48 Hong Kong dollars.

In other Asian company news, Sony has taken the wraps off its long awaited update to the PlayStation Portable - the PlayStation Vita.

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Jack Tretton, the boss of Sony's US gaming division used the opportunity to apologise to for the recent attack on the PlayStation Network.

And the strike at Maruti Suzuki, India's top carmaker, has entered its third day.

About 800 workers at the factory in the northern state of Haryana have been on strike demanding recognition of a new workers' union.

The battle for control of the IMF continues as French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde heads to India on the latest leg of a world tour aimed at drumming up support for her bid to head the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Ms Lagarde has promised to support demands from developing countries to have more say in the running of the IMF.

In Europe, retail sales in the 17 countries that use the euro rose more than expected in April, despite the debt crisis and an interest rate rise.

Retail sales rose 0.9% in April, compared with the previous month, the statistics office Eurostat said.

The news came as retailers in the UK reported a drop in sales for May compared to the previous year.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said May sales values, taking out the effects of closures and new stores, fell 2.1% compared with May 2010.

And finally French TV and radio presenters have been banned from mentioning social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter on air.

The country's broadcasting watchdog has ruled that doing so would break guidelines on advertising.

Stations can still talk about services without naming them, it said.

The latest edition of Business Daily looks at financial lobbying in the US.

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