Morning business round-up: Toyota profits to slump


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

Japanese car giant Toyota has said it expects profits for this financial year to be sharply lower than last year, due in large part to the massive earthquake in March that disrupted production.

The carmaker forecast net profits of 280bn yen ($3.5bn) for the year to the end of March, down a third on the 408bn yen it made last year. It said revenues would fall slightly to 8.2 trillion yen.

This could mean General Motors regains its position as the world's largest carmaker, a title it lost to Toyota in 2008.

Staying in Asia, China has announced that the pace of growth in exports slowed in May, suggesting that demand in its key markets may be faltering.

Shipments from the mainland grew by 19.4% in May, compared with the same month last year, according to China's customs agency.

The number is a sharp decline from a 30% annual surge seen a month earlier.

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During a visit to Chile by Vice President Xi Jinping, a mining deal was made between Chile's state-owned copper firm Codelco and China's Minmetals. A number of banking agreements were also signed.

Meanwhile, nominations for the new head of the International Monetary Fund close later, with France's Christine Lagarde still the hot favourite.

Mexico's Central Bank Governor Agustin Carstens and his Kazakhstan counterpart Grigory Marchenko are also in the running, while reports suggest former South African finance minister Trevor Manuel could still throw his hat into the ring.

In company news, Hermes shares have been hit by an announcement that luxury goods group LVMH, contrary to speculation, has "no intention" of launching a takeover bid.

Luggage maker Samsonite has raised $1.25bn in an initial public offering in Hong Kong. It is the latest foreign company to seek a Hong Kong listing. Fashion house Prada is looking to raise $2.6bn.

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