Morning business round-up: Shares fall on debt fears

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

Stock markets have fallen sharply again and the euro has fallen on fears that Greece may default on its debts.

In morning trading in Europe, London's FTSE 100 index was down 2.1%, France's Cac 40 dropped 4.3% and Germany's Dax was 3% lower. Bank shares were among the biggest fallers.

Earlier, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 2.3% to hit its lowest close since April 2009, while the Hong Kong market fell 4.2%.

The euro also fell to a 10-year low against the yen, and investors moved into German bonds in a flight to safety.

The falls came on fresh speculation that Greece faces a possible default and that Italy's debt crisis has worsened.

The Independent Commission on Banking, led by Sir John Vickers, said it would "make it easier and less costly to resolve banks that get into trouble".

It says that the different arms of banks should be separate legal entities with independent boards.

It also calls on banks to hold more assets in reserve to help absorb the impact of potential losses or future financial crises.

The ICB called for the changes to be implemented by the start of 2019.

Meanwhile in Asia, China's imports hit a record monthly high in August, indicating strong domestic demand despite concerns of a global economic slowdown.

Imports surged by 30.2% from a year earlier to $155.6bn, government data released over the weekend showed.

Exports rose by 24.5%, resulting in a trade surplus of $17.8bn, down from $31.5bn in the previous month.

The data comes at a time when China has been trying to boost domestic demand in an attempt to rebalance its economy.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

Staying in Asia, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has appointed Yukio Edano as trade minister, reports say, after the abrupt resignation of the previous incumbent.

Mr Edano gained prominence as the chief government spokesman after the earthquake and tsunami in March.

Yoshio Hachiro resigned as trade minister after calling the area around the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant a "town of death", or ghost town.

Also in Japan, Suzuki Motor is seeking an end to its partnership with Volkswagen, after the German carmaker accused Suzuki of breaking the terms of their agreement.

Suzuki will ask Volkswagen to sell its 19.9% stake in the firm, the company said in a statement.

The Japanese car company, in turn, will offload its 1.5% stake in Volkswagen.

Volkswagen argued that a deal between Suzuki and Fiat for diesel engines was a contractual breach. Suzuki has denied that the deal broke the agreement.

Finally, the world's leading carmakers are gathering for the Frankfurt motor show amid fears that sales could suffer as a result of weak global economic growth.

The latest edition of the Business Daily programme from the BBC World Service looks at why other countries are not looking to implement banking reforms along the lines of those proposed by the UK's banking commission.

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