Morning business round-up: Markets cool on Greek deal

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

Europe's financial markets have given a muted reaction to the announcement of a second bailout deal for Greece.

The euro was little changed from Monday's closing price, while leading European stock markets edged lower in early trading.

London's FTSE, the Paris Cac and Frankfurt's Dax index were all down between 0.5% and 1%.

The UK government received more money than it spent in January, leaving it with its highest monthly surplus in four years.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the surplus followed a fall in local government borrowing and a rise in tax receipts.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

It said the public sector made a net repayment - excluding financial interventions - of £7.75bn, up from £5.2bn a year ago.

January's finances are often in surplus because of a spike in tax receipts.

Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba has reported a fall in fourth-quarter profits, the first in two years as the world economic downturn hit exports.

The firm, which connects Chinese firms with overseas buyers, saw profits fall 6% to 385.9m yuan ($61.3m; £38.8m) in the three months to 31 December.

It blamed losses on "lacklustre economic conditions".

Alibaba, 43% owned by Yahoo, is reportedly planning a $3bn loan to take the firm into private hands.

On Tuesday, the company's top officials met aviation regulators to discuss plans to end the large-scale flight disruptions over the past few days.

At least 30 more flights were cancelled on Tuesday and Kingfisher's shares fell by 20%.

The firm recently had its bank account frozen for non-payment of taxes.

Package delivery firm TNT Express has reported a fourth-quarter loss days after rejecting a takeover bid by rival UPS, sending its shares lower.

The Dutch firm made a loss of 173m euros ($229m; £145m), blaming the cost of fuel, the eurozone woes and higher costs at its Brazilian operations.

Shares fell 2.3% to 9.9 euros. On Friday, TNT rejected a UPS bid of 9 euros a share, valuing TNT at $6.43bn.

The latest edition of Business Daily looks at the deal reached on a second bailout for Greece but asks whether the country is doomed to stay indebted forever. Lesley Curwen talks to Gabriel Sterne from bond specialists, Exotix Limited.

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