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Morning business round-up: BP in $8bn share buyback

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

Oil giant BP has said it will buy back $8bn (£5.2bn) of shares, returning to shareholders the money they had put into a complicated Russian venture.

It said it "expected to return to BP shareholders an amount equivalent to the value of the company's original investment in TNK-BP".

BP agreed to sell back its 50% stake in TNK-BP to Russia's Rosneft in October in return for $17.1bn in cash and shares.

It invested in TNK-BP in 2003.

MPs in Cyprus are due to begin voting on a series of bills that aim to raise the funds the country needs to secure an international bailout.

The country is in a race against time after the European Central Bank gave Cyprus until Monday to find the money.

If it does not, liquidity to the country's banks could be cut off and they could collapse.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has been holding talks on the crisis with the EU-IMF "troika".

The implications of the Cypriot crisis for the eurozone have not been lost on the financial markets.

Shares have been having an erratic time in Europe, with Frankfurt's Dax index and the Paris Cac 40 in negative territory.

London's FTSE 100 index, however, had pulled out of its slump by the end of the morning.

China needs a "renewed reform momentum" to sustain long-term growth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has said.

It said the financial sector, urbanisation, state ownership and innovation were key areas for reforms.

But it added that China had weathered the global financial crisis better than other OECD member countries.

It said China was on track to become the world's biggest economy by 2016, after allowing for price differences.

In company news, drinks giant Diageo has announced plans to shed about 80 jobs across a number of its sites in Scotland.

The company said the move followed a supply and procurement review of its Scottish manufacturing operations.

The cuts will mainly affect management roles.

Diageo stressed that an ongoing £1bn investment programme in Scotland to increase whisky production capacity would not be affected by the restructuring move.

And thousands of staff at the UK's Post Office will strike on Easter Saturday in a dispute over shop closures, jobs and levels of pay.

Four thousand staff working at 373 Crown - or main - offices, handling 20% of all Post Office business, will strike on 30 March.

The strike is protesting against plans to close and franchise Crown offices.

The Communication Workers Union said 88% of its members had voted in favour of strike action.

The latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service looks at the car industry. There are now more than a billion cars in the world and the number is growing rapidly. Can cutting-edge car technology help to prevent global gridlock?

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