Morning business round-up: Standard Chartered rebounds


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

Shares in scandal-hit Standard Chartered have rebounded, showing signs of recovery after their steepest one-day decline in decades.

Its shares opened 6.5% higher in London morning trade on Wednesday, after wiping $17bn off the bank's market value on Tuesday.

New York's State Department of Financial Services has accused the bank of laundering as much as $250bn (£161bn) for US-sanctioned Iran, and threatened to revoke its NY licence. The bank has denied the allegations.

But the latest accusation against a British bank from US authorities has angered some politicians in Britain, who have spoken of a perceived "anti-British bias" in Washington, designed to weaken London as a financial centre.

Cathay Pacific has posted an unexpected first-half net loss amid higher fuel costs and a drop in demand for corporate travel.

The carrier lost HK$935m ($120.6m; £77.2m) for the six months to June. Analysts had forecast a profit.

It had made a profit of HK$2.8bn during the same period last year.

The airline industry has struggled with higher fuel prices and slowing demand due to Europe's debt crisis and a slowdown in the US economy.

France's economy will fall back into recession this quarter, the country's central bank has predicted.

The Bank of France estimates that the economy will contract by 0.1% in July to September. It has already predicted a fall of the same level for April to June.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

France posted zero growth in the first quarter of the year.

France's economy has been hit by the eurozone debt crisis, which has weakened demand for its exports.

The debt woes of fellow eurozone nations, such as Greece, Spain and Portugal, have also knocked French business and consumer confidence.

It has offered S$55 ($44; £28) a share for a 7.3% stake in APB, currently held directly by Fraser and Neave (F&N).

That is 10% higher than Heineken's offer to F&N for its 40% direct and indirect stakes in APB.

F&N's board had accepted Heineken's bid but it requires shareholder approval.

Analysts said that the Dutch brewer may have to pay more if it wants shareholders to vote in its favour.

The Dream Center will open in 2016 in the Xuhui district along the Huangpu river, it said.

The complex aims to create a "global cultural centre" to rival New York's Broadway and London's West End.

It will house the world's largest Imax screen and tourist attractions, as well as restaurants and hotels.

Could glitches in automated share-trading threaten financial stability? Wednesday's Business Daily programme from the BBC World Service ponders the question.

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