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Morning business round-up: Xstrata Glencore confirm deal

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

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Mining firm Xstrata has formally announced plans to merge with Glencore, the world's biggest commodity trader.

The newly merged firm would be worth $90bn (£56bn), of which Xstrata would comprise $39bn.

But two major Xstrata shareholders say they will vote against the deal as they say it undervalues their shares.

Xstrata chief executive Mick Davis will head up the new firm, with Glencore's Ivan Glasenberg becoming deputy chief executive.

A Greek exit would not end the euro, said European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes in an interview with a Dutch newspaper.

She said there would be "absolutely no man overboard" if Greece left the euro.

Pressure is rising on Greece's national unity government to agree tough reforms demanded by the country's lenders.

The EU, IMF and European Central Bank have made further spending cuts, labour market reforms and bank rescues a condition of extending a new bailout.

Toyota, the world's third largest carmaker, saw profits rise over the whole of 2011 and said its recovery was on track following the impact of the Japanese tsunami, Thai floods and the strong yen.

The firm increased its annual sales forecast to 7.41 million vehicles.

The firm has started a second shift at its US plant in Mississippi, where it makes the Corolla, as it ramps up production.

In 2011, Toyota lost its crown as the world's largest car maker. Its total sales of 7.95 million vehicles - down 8% - put it behind General Motors, with 9.03 million and Volkswagen with 8.16 million.

Profits at UBS have slumped by 76% in its latest quarterly results.

The investment bank reported a 256m-franc ($430m; £270m) loss for the quarter, mainly due to weak client business during tough trading conditions last autumn when markets feared Italy might be pushed into default.

Business levels fell both at its key wealth management unit, as well as at its struggling investment bank.

As the eurozone debt crisis rumbles on, the Swiss bank warned that business in the coming three months was also likely to disappoint.

The company that owns the KFC fast food chain has reported solid growth fuelled by demand in China, a trend that is ongoing for Yum! Brands.

The firm has reported better-than-expected profits of $356m for the fourth quarter of 2011, jumping 30% from the same period last year.

The company's sharp profit rise was tempered by an increase in food and labour costs in China.

Yum! Brands says the Chinese market is crucial to its success.

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The Chinese unit of Citigroup will be the first non-Asian bank to launch credit cards in China, the bank said late on Monday.

The US-based bank announced that the move had been approved by China's banking regulator.

It will offer credit cards to Chinese customers later this year.

Citi is looking to cash in on China's increasing consumption, and had already established consumer and corporate banking businesses in the country.

A panel appointed by India's Supreme Court has recommended that licences of as many as 49 miners should be cancelled in the state of Karnataka.

The committee has accused them of indulging in illegal mining.

It said that illegal mining and transport of iron ore "had become possible because of the blatant connivance of officials and public functionaries".

Last year, the Supreme Court suspended all mining in the state's Bellary district due to illegal mining.

In the latest edition of Business Daily, the BBC's Justin Rowlatt speaks to the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, about what Europe can learn from emerging Asian economies.

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