Business

Morning business round-up: China targets 7.5% growth

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBusiness headlines

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

China has left its economic growth target for the year unchanged at 7.5%, as it looks to expand at a steady pace and maintain social stability.

The country also set a lower inflation goal of 3.5%, aimed at keeping prices in check.

The forecast was outlined by Premier Wen Jiabao in his last appearance at China's annual parliamentary session.

The world's second largest economy has seen expansion slide after a slowdown domestically and in key markets.

UK Chancellor George Osborne is in Brussels determined to renegotiate the European Parliament's proposals to curb bankers' bonuses.

But EU finance ministers in the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) are expected to approve last week's proposals, which include limiting bonuses to 100% of a banker's annual salary, or to 200% if shareholders approve.

The City of London fears the rules will drive away talent and restrict growth.

Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has accused Forbes magazine of understating his wealth.

In its 2013 list of the world's richest people, Forbes estimated Prince Alwaleed's net worth at $20bn (£13bn), putting him in 26th place.

However, the prince's office said the magazine used flawed valuation methods, and said it had severed all ties with the publication.

According to some reports, the prince estimates his net worth to be $29.6bn, a figure that would put him in the top 10 of the magazine's latest rich list.

UK airline Thomson has delayed the start of its flights using Boeing's troubled new 787 planes.

Passengers who had been expecting to be among the first to travel on a 787 from the UK in May and June will now be transferred to other aircraft, the airline said.

Thomson said a "lack of delivery schedule" from Boeing had caused it to change its plans.

All 787 Dreamliners were grounded in January due to problems with batteries.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has unveiled its fastest and most powerful model yet at the Geneva motor show.

The 624 horse power Wraith will travel from 0-60mph (0-100km/h) in 4.4 seconds and cost more than £200,000 ($300,000) when it goes on sale later this year.

The car was designed to change people's perception of the luxury marque, chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos told BBC News.

In other corporate news, Standard Chartered bank managed to increase profits last year despite being hit by a huge fine for breaking sanctions on Iran.

The London-listed firm saw pre-tax profits rise 1% to $6.9bn (£4.5bn), just short of analysts' forecasts.

The bank also said it had cut its bonus pool by 7% after the $667m fine from US regulators for breaching sanctions on Iran and three other countries.

Standard has ridden Asia's boom through the last decade.

Meanwhile, bookmaker Paddy Power has reported "another strong year" after seeing a rise in both profits and revenue.

Pre-tax profit for 2012 rose 15% to a record 139.2m euros (£120m). Revenues rose 31% to 653.8m euros, or 25% taking into account currency movements.

But the group said if current exchange rates continue, operating profits this year could be reduced by 10%.

Both the pound and the Australian dollar have weakened considerably against the euro since July.

For an in-depth examination of the business issues behind the headlines, listen to the latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service. Today, the programme looks at Japan's economic experiment, as the country prepares to rack up vast new debts to pump trillions of yen into the economy.

Around the BBC