Morning business round-up: Airbus in record deal

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

Airbus piled up the orders at the Paris air show as it announced the largest single order of commercial aircraft in history.

Malaysia's low-cost carrier AirAsia is buying 200 of the fuel-efficient A320neo jets, in a deal worth about $18bn (£11bn).

The news from the car industry was less glowing, as Swedish carmaker Saab said it did not have enough money to pay its employees' wages. Owner Swedish Automobile said it was in discussions with lenders to try and obtain short-term funding.

For its part, Japan's Nissan forecast a fall in profits this financial year, following March's massive earthquake and resulting tsunami.

In economic developments, the Greek euro drama continued. The threat of a Greek debt default is undermining the euro is expected to overshadow the opening of an EU summit in Brussels.

The 27 EU leaders are expected to reaffirm their determination to defend the single currency. But the BBC's Europe editor says there is little they can do until the Greek parliament votes on a new package of tough austerity measures next week.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

Meanwhile in Australia, the two biggest telecoms companies, Telstra and Optus, joined the government's A$36bn (£24bn) plan to roll out high-speed internet across the country.

And in the UK, the idea of giving the public free shares in part-nationalised banks RBS and Lloyds was backed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

One of Britain's biggest retailers, electrical goods firm Dixons, announced a pre-tax loss of £224.1m for the year to April, after taking into account some large exceptional items.

With the owner of rival firm Comet announcing losses on Wednesday and new UK entrant Best Buy faring no better, the whole sector is facing tough times.

Finally, today's Business Daily podcast asks: could an element called thorium solve the crisis of global warming? Click to hear about the potential of a low carbon energy source which advocates say is also cheap, plentiful and safe.

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