Morning business round-up: No eurozone deal over Greece

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

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The failure of eurozone ministers to reach a deal to give Greece its latest bailout payment threatens the whole bloc, leaders have said.

Following nearly 12 hours of talks in Brussels, the Eurogroup said it needed more time for technical work.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said: "It's not only the future of our country, but the stability of the entire eurozone [that is at stake]."

In Asia, Japan's exports have fallen for a fifth straight month after demand in China and the European Union weakened.

Shipments fell 6.5% in October from a year earlier. Exports to China declined 11.6% and were down 20% to the EU.

Muddy Waters Research has renewed its attack on Olam International, claiming the Singapore-based agricultural commodities trader "will collapse".

Business headlines

The comments come a day after Carson Block, the founder of Muddy Waters, raised questions about Olam's debt levels and accounting practices.

In the US, last-ditch efforts aimed at ending a labour dispute threatening one of the best-known US snack food brands have broken down.

Union officials said talks with Hostess Brands had ended without a deal that would save Twinkies. On Monday, a judge ordered Hostess into talks to try to avoid liquidating the firm, at a cost of 18,000 jobs.

In the UK, the government borrowed much more than expected in October, reducing the chances that the UK will hit its deficit reduction target in 2012-13.

UK public sector net borrowing, excluding financial interventions, hit £8.6bn in October, up from the £5.9bn borrowed in October 2011.

One member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted for more quantitative easing earlier this month.

The minutes of the November meeting also showed that "views differed over the exact impact" of flooding the economy with cash.

The latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service asks: digital technology means the world is awash with data - and not surprisingly the US military is interested in how it can use it. And not just to help fight wars.

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  1.  
    08:12: Bupa results

    Bupa wants to capture a slice of India's fast-growing health insurance market when rules on foreign investment are relaxed. Stuart Fletcher, chief executive, says it's "still quite a nascent market - there is tonnes of headroom for growth". The private healthcare group posted annual profits up 8% to £638m today.

     
  2.  
    SFO bank probe Robert Peston Economics editor

    Does alleged scamming of £200bn Bank of Eng scheme to rescue banks show that some bankers need psychiatric help?

     
  3.  
    07:53: Best investments Radio 5 live
    Lego

    Wake Up To Money was asking listeners earlier about the best investment they have made. For one listener it was a Lego Millennium Falcon set. Have you made a particularly canny investment? Give us your thoughts at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or @bbcbusiness.

     
  4.  
    07:42: Aviva profits

    Mr Wilson's comments came as the insurance giant Aviva reported a 6% rise in pre-tax operating profit of £2.17bn, compared with just over £2bn a year earlier. The insurer has has been going to through a strategic overhaul including the sale of its North American business last year. It also raised in annual dividend by 30%.

     
  5.  
    07:31: Aviva profits
    Aviva stadium

    Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson says its annual results show the insurer is making "tangible progress". Aviva - sponsor of Dublin's rugby stadium - started "2015 in a position of strength", but he adds it would be "wrong to assume that our turnaround is nearing completion, as we have further to travel than the distance we have come".

     
  6.  
    07:20: London Stock Exchange Group
    LSE Group

    Another good year for London Stock Exchange Group, with revenue up 32% to £1.28bn and adjusted pre-tax profits up 17% to £445.9m. However, on the pure pre-tax level profits slipped 5% to £284.3m. The company is worth £8.3bn and its shares have risen 18% in the past year.

     
  7.  
    SFO Bank investigationVia Twitter Kamal Ahmed BBC Business editor

    "Unprecedented" much over-used by us hacks, but this actually is @BBCNews SFO launches Bank of England criminal probe

     
  8.  
    07:10: ECB bond buying BBC Radio 4
    The EURO logo

    The European Central Bank reveals more details of its bond-buying programme later today - but don't expect any surprises, Andrew Wilson, chief executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, tells Today. He says we've already seen "marked weakening" of the euro, so it will be interesting to see what impact ECB action will have.

     
  9.  
    06:55: Drones
    drone

    The House of Lords has called for a tracking system for all drones and their users. A report by the EU Committee of the House of Lords described drones - or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, to give them their official title - as an "exciting new technology", but warned that their use poses risks to the general public and other airspace users.

     
  10.  
    06:44: China growth BBC Radio 4

    China's 7% economic growth target for 2015 is about "sending a message" particularly to local governments, which look to Beijing for guidance in setting their own targets. But at the the same time the government is very concerned about the level of debt in the banking sector - something it is trying to address, Duncan Innes-Ker, China analyst with the Economist intelligence Unit, tells Today.

     
  11.  
    06:30: AbbVie

    Big news from the pharma world overnight as US company AbbVie announced a deal to buy leukemia drugmaker Pharmacyclics for $21bn (£13.8bn). It appears to have won the prize from under the nose of Johnson & Johnson, which some reports say was close to a deal.

     
  12.  
    06:20: Brazil economy Radio 5 live
    Copacabana beach

    The Brazilian currency - the real - has hit a 10-year low after the central bank raised interest rates by half a point to a stonking 12.75% overnight. The BBC's Daniel Gallas in Sao Paulo tells Wake Up to Money that the country could tip into recession this year as the government embarks on an austerity drive, raising taxes and cutting spending.

     
  13.  
    06:11: Interest rates Radio 5 live

    It's been six whole years since the Bank of England cut the base rate to 0.5%. That's been good for borrowers, but not so great for savers - of which there are many more after all. Vivan Slattery, an independent financial adviser, tells Wake Up To Money many of her clients have stayed in cash but are now looking at alternatives given that rates do not seem set to increase sharply anytime soon - particularly as many mortgage holders are now on the standard variable rate.

     
  14.  
    06:05: China growth Radio 5 live

    China has announced that its target growth rate for 2015 is 7% - down from 7.5% for last year. The BBC's Ali Moore in Singapore says the new target is not a reflection of panic in Beijing but part of its drive to lower expectations and rebase the economy to focus more on domestic demand. "It's more about quality than quantity," she adds.

     
  15.  
    Welcome to Thursday Chris Johnston Business reporter

    Good morning from me and Matthew West. Another busy day of business news coming up - we'll be here to guide you through it all. Get in touch with your comments at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or on Twitter at @bbcbusiness.

     

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