Morning Business Round-up: Egypt exchange stays closed

  • Published

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

Middle East events provided the main story as Egypt again delayed the start of share trading. Its stock market was expected to reopen on Tuesday morning but that has been put back until Sunday 6 March. The exchange has been closed for more than a month following the anti-government protests there.

The state run news agency, MENA, said trading would not resume until Sunday "in order to allow investors to profit from the backing of the government to guarantee the bourse's stability".

Share markets were higher with gains in Asia being followed through into European trading.

Inflation was a theme on the Asian markets. Rising inflation sparked by the higher cost of oil was seen as a positive thing for Japan, whose problem is falling, not rising prices.

The opposite problem applies to Vietnam.

The country's government is set to raise electricity prices by 15% , at a time when the population is already struggling with a soaring cost of living.

Last week the Vietnamese government also raised the retail prices of oil products by as much as 24%.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

Australia's central bank decided it had the problem under control for now. It left interest rates unchanged at 4.75% for the fourth month in a row, saying inflation would remain within target this year.

Still in Asia, China's top search engine Baidu was put on a list of for counterfeit and pirated goods by the US.

The US Trade Representative (USTR) accused Baidu of steering consumers to third-party websites where pirated material is hosted.

Paul Devine is accused of providing confidential information to suppliers so that they could negotiate favourable contracts.

He pleaded guilty to multiple criminal charges and admitted that he took bribes from Asian suppliers.

Mr Devine admitted that the loss to Apple from his actions was more than $2m (£1.2m).

The main news in the UK was a change in the law ordered by the European Court of Justice outlawing the practice of charging women less for car insurance than men.

According to one insurer, the ruling means women in the UK will pay on average £400 more ($640; 468 euros).

Firms will have until the end of 2012 to comply with the new law.

The motor trade is out in force at the Geneva motor show. Our specialist reporter, Jorn Madslien is there and reports that Korean giant Hyundai is targetting the company car market.

The Geneva event will also be the setting for Rolls-Royce's first foray into electric cars.

The experimental car will not go into production but the company will use it to gauge customers' opinions.

Around the BBC