Morning business round-up: Spanish bond rates up again

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

The eurozone debt crisis shows no sign of abating, with Spain now firmly in the cross-hairs.

The country's new government had to pay a 5.2% interest rate to borrow money for just three months from financial markets.

That's more than double the rate it had to pay last time it entered the market in October.

Elsewhere in Europe, the UK government's rate of borrowing looks to be back on track for fiscal year-end targets.

October data undershot expectations, while the figure for the financial year-to-date was revised down.

European travel firm Thomas Cook saw its share price collapse after it announced that it was in emergency talks with lenders.

The package holiday specialists are highly exposed to the political turmoil in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as the flooding in Thailand, all of which are key destinations.

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UK executive pay came under criticism from lobby group the High Pay Commission.

It produced a report claiming that excessive remuneration had created "inequalities last seen in the Victorian era".

In Asia, Japan's two leading stock exchanges have said they will merge to combat slowing market conditions in their home country.

The move by the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Stock Exchange will create the third-largest bourse in the world, and the largest in Asia.

South Korea has ratified its free trade agreement with the US, after years of wrangling over the issue.

In the end, with most of the opposition abstaining, it was passed easily by a 151-7 margin.

In the currency markets, Beijing has agreed to double its credit line to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to 400bn yuan ($63bn).

The move aims to help strengthen Hong Kong's role as an international centre for Chinese currency trading.

Meanwhile, the rupee has weakened to a record level against the US dollar.

Analysts say the poor performance by the Indian currency reflects among other things broader fears about emerging economies, as well as a general flight by investors to US dollar in response to the eurozone financial crisis.

It comes as the World Bank warns that Asian economies are being hit by weak demand in the West for their exports.

Finally, in Japan's other big corporate scandal, the former chairman of Daio Paper, Mototaka Ikawa, has been arrested on charges of embezzlement.

In an open statement entitled "Apology", Mr Ikawa admitted that he had used company money to gamble in casinos in order to cover personal losses on the financial markets.

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