Morning business round-up: Lagarde steps forward

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

Christine Lagarde finally made the announcement that she is putting herself forward as a candidate to replace fellow Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the IMF.

From one international organisation to another: the OECD released its latest semi-annual economic outlook, warning that there are many risks to the recovery still lurking out there.

One of those risks came from the fall-out from Japan's earthquake and tsunami, with the country confirming that exports fell 12.5% in April.

Foreign investment into Europe meanwhile picked up sharply last year, according to a separate report by accountants Ernst and Young, while first-quarter growth in the UK has been confirmed at a fairly anaemic 0.5%.

But there is a cloud on Europe's economic horizon - another Icelandic ash cloud that is - that has now shut down Germany's airports, threatening to ruin holiday plans and put a dampener on airline profits.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

In the corporate world, the US government is to sell off a small chunk of its 92% stake in AIG, the enormous insurance company that would have bled to death in the financial crisis were it not for Washington's intervention.

Cable & Wireless Communications has reported "good progress" since its demerger, although results in the Caribbean were reportedly poor as its grip on the West Indies was prised open by competitors.

In Asia, Sony has reported more hack attacks on its websites, with a further 10,000 users' details being pinched.

Meanwhile, European companies complain that they are facing increasingly unfair treatment in China, and only expect things to get worse.

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