Business

Morning business round-up: S&P 'misled investors'

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

Australia's Federal Court has ruled that credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) misled investors before the global financial crisis.

S&P gave its safest credit rating, AAA, to complex and risky securities, which later lost most of their value.

In what is regarded as a landmark ruling, the court ordered S&P and the bank which arranged the product, ABN Amro, to pay damages to investors.

S&P said it planned to appeal against the decision.

Japanese carmaker Nissan has slashed its full-year profit forecast by 20% after car sales slumped in China amid anti-Japanese protests.

The Japanese carmaker now expects a net profit of 320bn yen ($4bn; £2.5bn) for the year ending March 2013, down from an earlier estimate of 400bn yen.

Nissan says car sales plunged 35% in China in September.

A territorial dispute between Japan and China over islands in the East China Sea has led consumers in China to boycott Japanese products.

However, not all car firms are suffering. Booming sales in Asia have helped Germany's BMW shrug off the gloom in Europe to report a record third-quarter pre-tax profit.

The world's largest luxury carmaker saw sales in China and Japan rise by 33% and 21.5% respectively in the nine months to the end of September.

This drove a 17.6% rise in pre-tax profit to 2bn euros (£1.6bn; $2.5bn) for the period between July and September.

Sales in Europe rose 2.6%.

In other European news, the French government has said it will raise value added tax and cut public spending in order to fund tax credits for firms that keep jobs in France.

The 20bn-euro plan comes after a government-commissioned report by industrialist Louis Gallois called for big cuts in payroll taxes.

Mr Gallois, the former boss of aerospace group EADS, urged President Francois Hollande's administration to improve competitiveness.

The IMF also called for similar action.

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Britain and the United Arab Emirates have announced a joint defence partnership, following David Cameron's two-day visit to the country.

The prime minister has been in the Gulf to strengthen the UK's defence, security and commercial ties in the region.

A Downing Street spokesman said the two countries had agreed "a defence industrial partnership" involving "close collaboration" on the Typhoon jet.

The UAE has not agreed to buy a Typhoon but "it is a marker of their interest".

Senior executives in the UK's biggest companies have seen their average earnings go up by more than a quarter in the past year.

New research suggests the bosses of top UK firms made an average of £4m a year.

But Incomes Data Services, which compiled the figures, says pay and bonuses have hardly risen at all.

Instead, the increase is due to a rise in value of long term incentive plans which have replaced cash bonuses.

In the latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service, we look at the power of incentives in motivating people. Plus we speak to a reinsurance giant that is predicting more storms for the US.

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