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Morning business round-up: Markets hit by Italian deadlock

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

Banks dominated the headlines in Europe, with both the UK's Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Spain's Bankia reporting losses.

RBS reported its fifth annual loss since it was rescued by the government in 2008.

The bank made a pre-tax loss of £5.17bn, hit by a series of charges. The year before, it lost £766m.

In a statement, the bank said it had been a "chastening" year, during which it sought to "put right past mistakes".

It has set aside money to cover PPI mis-selling, the mis-selling of interest rate swaps and its fine for attempting to fix Libor.

Bankia, formed of the merger of seven floundering savings banks, reported a record loss.

The bank, which received aid of 18bn euros, made a loss of 19.2bn euros ($25.2bn; £17bn) for 2012 and put aside provisions of 26.8bn euros.

Last year, Bankia and its parent firm, BFA, asked for EU funds to help rebuild its capital.

Spain's bank rescue fund said Bankia itself had a negative value, although its parent had some worth.

Bankia was born out of the merger of seven savings banks that were highly exposed to Spain's property sector, which crashed five years ago.

'Adapt to survive'

In other European corporate news, restructuring charges at Iberia and fuel costs hit results at International Airlines Group (IAG), which owns both the Spanish flag-carrier and British Airways.

It reported a net loss for 2012 of 943m euros ($1.24bn; £816m), compared with a 562m euros profit in 2011.

IAG's fuel bill rose 20.4% to 6.1bn euros, while Iberia announced recently that it was cutting 3,800 jobs.

The airline has been hit by Spain's weak economy.

Chief executive Willie Walsh said the results showed Iberia "must adapt to survive", but there has still been no agreement with Spanish unions.

IAG was formed in 2011 by the merger of Iberia and BA.

In Asia, the big news was that Sony has sold one of its landmark Tokyo buildings for 111bn yen ($1.2bn, £790m) - its second high-profile property deal this year.

The 25-storey building, which is near the company's Tokyo headquarters, was built on the site once known as the company's "holy land".

The building was completed in 2011 and houses 5,000 workers at the TV and audio centre. It was the site where the pioneering Trinitron TV was launched.

Sony recently sold its US headquarters.

Nippon Building Fund will have a 60% stake in the Toyko building, with another unnamed investor taking a 40% interest.

Sony will remain in the building for the next five years.

The latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service explores the challenges facing the US economy.

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