Morning business round-up: BSkyB in £1bn payout

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

Satellite broadcaster BSkyB is returning £1bn to shareholders angered by the recent fall in its share price.

The move comes after sharp falls in the value of the company's shares in the past month, as a result of News Corporation abandoning its bid to buy all of BSkyB amid the phone-hacking scandal.

BSkyB said it had gained 426,000 customers over the past year.

Explaining its decision, the rating agency said last week's second rescue package for Greece had done little to ease debt concerns in the eurozone.

Moody's added that the Spanish economy remained "subdued".

There was better news for Spanish airline Iberia after its parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) reported a half-year profit of 39m euros (£34m).

This compares with a loss of 419m euros a year earlier.

IAG was formed by a merger of Iberia and British Airways.

In France, oil giant Total reported a 12% fall in quarterly profit after the conflict in Libya disrupted its production in the north African country.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

Also affected by maintenance work reducing output at its oil rigs in the North Sea, Total's net profit in the three months to 30 June totalled 2.73bn euros ($3.89bn; £2.4bn).

This compares with a profit of 3.1bn euros a year earlier.

In Asia, the main news was that Japan's economy has continued to recover from the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.

The latest official data showed that factory output rose 3.9% in June from the previous month, as supply chain concerns eased, while household spending increased by 0.8%.

Analysts said it showed the Japanese economy was recovering faster than expected.

Across in South Korea, Samsung has become the latest electronics maker to report a drop in profits due to a weak demand for TVs.

Samsung said net profit was 3.5tn won ($3.3bn; £2bn) in the second quarter, an 18% drop from a year earlier.

The company said its TV unit made a loss for the second successive quarter as sales of Liquid Crystal Display's (LCDs) fell 15%.

The BBC World Service's Business Daily radio programme looks at Chinese luxury goods.

Presenter Lesley Curwen asks whether home-grown Chinese companies can build brands to rival the prestigious names of the West.

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