Morning business round-up: Greece bailout protest fears


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

Greece is braced for large protests against further budget cuts, following a 130bn-euro (£110bn; $170bn) bailout deal aimed at avoiding bankruptcy.

There are fears of more violence during the rallies called by trade unions as the public mood hardens, a BBC correspondent in Athens says.

Meanwhile the government is finalising emergency legislation demanded by international lenders.

The CBI is calling on the UK government to give a £500m boost to business in the Budget next month through a series of "targeted and modest" tax cuts.

In its submission ahead of the 21 March Budget, the business lobby group has urged the chancellor to deliver "Plan A plus" to bolster growth and investment.

It proposes a new tax cut for firms that invest in infrastructure projects.

The group also wants a simplification of taxes on carbon emissions and a lower rise in air passenger duty.

Shares in French carmaker Peugeot have jumped 15% after the firm said it was in talks about possible "co-operations and alliances".

France's labour minister said that Peugeot was in talks about a strategic alliance with General Motors.

Peugeot would not confirm which companies it was talking to. GM said it routinely talks to other firms in the industry.

Last year, Peugeot's car-making business reported a loss due to tough conditions in the European car market.

Two members of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) wanted more money pumped into the economy than the £50bn that was agreed earlier this month, meeting notes reveal.

The two voted for a £75bn stimulus to the economy in February, but the other seven disagreed.

The majority considered that £50bn would be enough, with some saying no further action was needed.

No-one thought there should be any change in interest rates, which have stood at a record low of 0.5% since March 2009.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

Kim Dotcom, 38, has been in prison since 20 January at the request of the US authorities.

He faces charges in the US for one of the biggest copyright infringement cases in the country's history.

The site is accused of costing copyright holders more than $500m in lost revenue.

The eurozone's service sector shrank unexpectedly in February, a new survey suggests, increasing fears of a recession.

Markit's eurozone Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) initial data fell to 49.4 from January's 50.4.

Any reading below 50 signifies a contraction.

Eurozone manufacturing also struggled, with the PMI for this sector rising to 49.0 from January's 48.8, the seventh consecutive month below 50.

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