Morning business round-up: Greece attacks downgrades

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

Greece's finance minister has hit out at ratings agencies, calling their actions during the eurozone debt crisis "madness" and saying they had exacerbated an already difficult situation.

Stavros Lambridinis' comments came a day after Moody's downgraded Portugal's debt, the latest of a series of downgrades to affect debt-hit European countries.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has proposed new rules aimed at cutting the cost of mobile roaming charges - applied when calls are made or received, text messages sent or data downloaded when travelling in Europe.

New, lower price caps could come into force in stages over the next three years.

In Asia, Japan's government has approved a second budget of 2tn yen ($24.7bn; £15.4bn) for reconstruction after the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.

The money will be spent on rebuilding, and on compensating victims of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

The benchmark index plunged in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami, but has now risen for seven days in a row on optimism that companies are recovering faster than expected.

Media caption,

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Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has reported that its profits more than doubled in the three months to June on growing demand for its phones.

Shares in Bank of China and China Construction Bank fell after Singapore's state-owned investor Temasek Holdings sold its stakes in the institutions.

And in the UK, the impact of higher food prices is being felt, pushing up prices in shops by their highest rate for two and a half years in June, according to a retail body.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said shop prices were 2.9% higher in June compared with a year earlier, the biggest increase since October 2008.

Our Business Daily podcast today looks at whether the IMF got its Greek rescue wrong and why the US sends billions in aid to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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