Business

Morning business round-up: Markets react to Kim

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

The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il caused consternation on Asian financial markets.

South Korea's currency and main stock index have dropped after North Korea's state media reported the death.

The benchmark Kospi stock index shed as much as 4.9%, and eventually closed down 3.4%. The currency, the won, fell 1.6% against the dollar.

Elsewhere in business news, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holding Company has announced a $300m investment in social media site Twitter.

The investment follows "several months of negotiations", a company statement to the Saudi stock exchange said.

The prince, who is one of the world's richest men, owns stakes in many well-known companies, including News Corporation.

Troubled Swedish carmaker Saab has filed for bankruptcy after failing to secure fresh funds from potential Chinese investors.

General Motors, which owns part of Saab, did not want Chinese carmakers accessing technology licences.

Production has been suspended at Saab's main plant in Trollhattan, Sweden, since April as the company has struggled to pay its suppliers.

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has said it will increase its stake in Air Berlin from 3% to more than 29%.

Most of the increased holding will come in the form of newly-issued shares.

Under the terms of the deal, Etihad will also provide up to $255m (£165m) in financing over the next five years to Germany's second largest airline.

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Returning to Asian news, house prices in most Chinese cities have fallen as government policies aimed at cooling the property market start to take effect.

New home prices in 49 out of 70 Chinese cities dropped in November from the previous month, China's National Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday.

In October 33 cities saw price falls.

And in Inda the government has approved a bill which will guarantee cheap food for more than half of the country's people.

The Food Security Bill aims to provide subsidised foodgrains to 75% of the rural population and about half of urban households.

The bill now needs the approval of India's parliament, where it is likely to be introduced on Monday.

Finally, Qantas Airways says it has reached an agreement with its main engineers union, in one of three ongoing disputes between the Australian airline and its workers.

Qantas said it had agreed to a 3% annual increase in salaries for three years.

The deal will be presented to the industrial regulator on Monday.

And the latest edition of Business Daily looks at whether the problems facing Europe's single currency, the euro, could yet trigger another banking crisis.

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