Morning business round-up: Italy's borrowing costs rise

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Italy's borrowing costs rose sharply at an auction on Wednesday morning, in the first test of its ability to borrow money long-term at affordable rates after the country's inconclusive election result.

Italy sold the new 10-year government bonds at a yield of 4.83%, up from 4.17% at its last sale in January.

The yield provides an indication of the yearly interest rate Rome would have to pay to borrow new money.

However, it did sell all 6.5bn euros' worth (£5.6bn) of 10- and five-year bonds. The new five-year bond was sold at a yield of 3.59%, up from 2.94% in January.

European stock markets steadied, showing slight increases after having fallen heavily on Tuesday following the Italian election.

Aerospace and defence group EADS has reported a rise in profits and sales in 2012, boosted by a strong performance from its aircraft maker Airbus.

Net profit for 2012 at EADS rose 19% to 1.23bn euros ($1.61bn; £1.06bn). Revenues rose 15% to 56.48bn euros.

Revenues at Airbus rose 17% to 38.59bn euros, mostly due to commercial sales.

However, EADS's profit in the fourth quarter fell sharply after taking one-off charges at its helicopter and defence electronics divisions.

Net profit in the three months to December fell 47% from a year ago to 325m euros.

European Union fisheries ministers have agreed to phase out the controversial practice of dumping unwanted fish.

After a tense all-night meeting, ministers said a ban on "discards" should be phased in, starting in January 2014 for certain types of fish.

It is a victory for campaigners who have demanded the end of a practice that has brought the EU into disrepute.

However, activists fear that exemptions for certain countries could open loopholes to be exploited in future talks.

India's growth rate is set to rise over the coming year after two years of slowdown, according to a forecast from the finance ministry.

The ministry released its figures in an economic survey ahead of the unveiling of the budget on Thursday.

It predicts that economic growth in 2013-14 will be between 6.1% to 6.7%, after having fallen to 5% in 2012-13.

However, the survey calls for more action on job creation and a widening of the tax base.

Hong Kong's government has said it will look to boost growth and employment after the territory expanded last year at its slowest pace since 2009.

Financial Secretary John Tsang unveiled relief measures as part of his budget proposal for the 2013-2014 year.

He added that he expected the economy to grow by 1.5% to 3.5% in 2013.

The latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service asks if this week could mark a turning point in the eurozone crisis.

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