Morning business round-up: Nissan enjoys strong sales

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

Carmakers have been dominating the headlines, with Nissan reporting the largest annual sales in its history. The Japanese firm said the big rise in sales had lifted its yearly profits to 319.2bn yen ($3.7bn; £2.4bn). Nissan added that while it had been affected by March's Japanese earthquake, it had shown its "resilience".

However, there was worse news from one of Europe's best-known carmakers. Saab's owner Spyker said its vital funding deal with China's Hawtai Motor Group had fallen through. The announcement throws its plans to resume production at the Swedish carmaker into doubt.

In other business stories, German insurance group Allianz has seen its quarterly profits fall 43% because of damage claims from the earthquake in Japan and other natural disasters.

Meanwhile, in Japan, official figures showed that the Japanese current account surplus fell by 34.3% in March compared with the same month a year ago. It comes after the massive earthquake and tsunami devastated exports.

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In the UK, the end may be in sight to the long-running dispute between British Airways (BA) and some of its cabin crew staff. Union members are meeting to consider a settlement offer from BA. The BBC has learned Unite union leaders are said to be "content" with what has been negotiated during talks with the airline.

To hear about some of the wider trends in the world of business, click through to our Business Daily podcast. The latest edition of the show looks at the mechanics of the financial machine, with Michael Blastland reporting from the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

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