Morning business round-up: Banks questioned over Libor


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

Seven banks, including HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland, are to be questioned in the US for alleged manipulation of the Libor inter-bank lending rate.

Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and UBS have also received subpoenas from the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut.

Last month, Barclays was fined £290m by UK and US regulators for rigging Libor.

US regulators said they were investigating potential involvement by other banks in the Barclays scandal.

China's Premier Wen Jiabao has warned that the country's economy is under pressure and that it is facing problems that may last for some time.

However, he said that Beijing would be able to meet its growth target, despite those issues.

He said that easing inflation had given more room to policymakers to introduce measures to spur growth.

China has been hurt by slowing global demand for its exports and lacklustre growth in domestic consumption.

It means streaming music is the fastest-growing sector of the industry, overtaking downloads, which are due to see an increase of 8.5% this year.

CDs and vinyl still dominate the industry, accounting for 61% of all music sold worldwide. But sales of physical products dropped by 12% globally, and 30% in the UK.

Samsung has launched a new tablet, the Galaxy Note 10.1. The release comes midway through a patent trial involving the South Korean firm and Apple, in which each company has accused the other of copying its technology.

The new Android tablet distinguishes itself from the iPad by featuring a stylus and a screen which can measure 24 levels of pressure sensitivity. It also allows a split-screen mode in which two apps can be used at once.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

UK retail sales rose 0.3% in July from the previous month according to official figures, despite predictions of a fall.

Sales volumes in the month were up 2.8% compared with a year earlier. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also revised up figures for June to a rise of 0.8% from 0.1%.

The rise in spending adds to evidence that earlier estimates that the UK economy had shrunk 0.7% in the second quarter may have been too pessimistic.

Lenovo, the world's second-largest PC maker, has reported a rise in profits due to its still-growing home market and from sales abroad.

Beijing-based Lenovo made $144m (£92m) in the quarter to June, up 30% from the same period last year.

But the pace of profits growth was the slowest in more than a year amid signs that China's economy is cooling. However, Lenovo, maker of the ThinkPad, said that it remains "optimistic" on its growth prospects.

In the latest Business Daily programme from the BBC World Service, Kenya's trade minister talks about the effort the government is making to improve the investment climate.

Around the BBC