Business

Morning business round-up: Spain house sales drop

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

Spanish home sales fell in the last three months of 2011, hitting their lowest level since 2007, as the nation continues to struggle with recession.

House prices fell at an annual rate of 11.2% of last year, the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica said, a drop of almost four percentage points more than the previous quarter.

Boeing has denied claims by the Indian government that it had agreed to pay compensation to Air India for delays to aircraft deliveries.

The carrier has been seeking compensation for delays in the delivery of planes it ordered in 2005, including 27 Boeing 787s.

Libya's stock exchange has reopened for the first time since the fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

The exchange has 10 companies on it and trade on its first day was worth 3.9bn Libyan dinars ($3bn; £2bn), its general manager said.

Almost all of the country's publicly traded firms are banks and insurers, except for al-Ahliya Cement.

In the UK, Fitch credit ratings agency joined Moody's and put the country's top AAA rating on "negative outlook".

Fitch warned on Wednesday that it could downgrade the UK in the next few years if the government does not contain the level of public debt.

Also, the boss of Tesco's UK operation, Richard Brasher, is stepping down.

His departure, after only a year in the job, follows a disappointing Christmas sales period, a fall in market share and a profit warning in January.

In Asia, India's central bank left interest rates unchanged, saying that inflation remains a risk despite a slowdown in the economy.

The Reserve Bank of India left its key rate unchanged at 8.5%, and hinted that it may cut rates soon to boost growth.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBusiness headlines

The yen hit an 11-month low against the dollar as the US currency strengthened on hopes of a recovery in the world's largest economy.

The Japanese currency hit 84.18 yen to the dollar in Asian trade.

Profits at China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator by subscribers, have risen by 5% as its customers downloaded more games and video.

The Hong Kong-listed company said it made 125.9bn yuan ($20bn; £13bn) in profit last year, compared with 120bn yuan in 2010.

And in UK corporate news, weak demand for electronics has been blamed for another fall in sales at retailer Argos.

For the eight weeks to 25 February, the company's owner, Home Retail Group, said sales fell 7.7% to £480m.

The latest edition of Business Daily asks, are we going back to the 1970s as oil prices stay high? Is the world about to experience another oil crisis and what would would it mean for how we all live?

Around the BBC