Morning business round-up: SAS 'close to securing survival'

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

The troubled Scandinavian airline SAS has said it is close to reaching a deal with trade unions needed to avoid bankruptcy, following all-night talks.

Owners and creditors of the airline have a plan to cut costs and jobs, but it needs approval from eight trade unions representing pilots and cabin crew in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

The airline said on Monday morning it had reached agreement with all but one of the unions.

Problem loans at Spain's banks hit a new all-time high in September, as the collapse of the country's property bubble continued to hurt the economy.

Bad debts, mostly loans to home buyers and property developers, reached 182bn euros ($233bn; £146bn) or 10.7% of bank assets, according to central bank data.

Spain's government announced a two-year suspension of evictions for the most vulnerable people last week.

It believes these "shadow banks" could pose a similar risk to the system as mainstream banks.

The organisations work like banks by, for example, using short-term assets to provide long-term lending.

The FSB is a Basel-based group that was formed to co-ordinate the work of international regulatory authorities.

Meraki offers services that help firms to manage their networks using the internet.

Cisco has been keen to expand into cloud computing, which allows users to store and manage data over the internet, as opposed to traditional hardware.

Analysts said two interest rate cuts, relaxed lending restrictions and easier access to local government housing funds were behind the gain.

Thailand's economy grew at a slower pace in the third quarter after weak global demand dented exports to the US and Europe.

Gross domestic product increased by 3% in the three months to the end of September from a year earlier. That is down from 4.4% in the second quarter.

Exports, which account for about two-thirds of Thailand's total economic output, dropped by 3%.

However, analysts said growth should pick up in the coming months as domestic demand offsets weaker foreign sales.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

Shares in Universal Entertainment fell 11% on reports that one of its affiliates made illegal payments to an associate of the former head of the Philippine gaming regulator.

The firm, Japan's biggest pachinko arcade game machine maker, is developing a casino in the Philippines.

The Reuters news agency reported that it made payments of $5m (£3m) in 2010 to win concessions for the project.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said in the short run, the picture would not look dissimilar to the UK as a whole.

But it argued that over the longer term, Scotland would face a bigger fiscal adjustment than the rest of the UK if North Sea oil and gas revenues fall as expected.

The Scottish government said the study showed Scotland could pay its own way.

More than one in 10 UK shops are empty, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the highest since it began collecting data on occupancy levels of High Street premises.

The BRC said the town centre vacancy rate of 11.3% was the worst figure since its nationwide survey began in July 2011.

The figures come as the failed retailer Comet prepares to close stores.

The latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service looks at different aspects of leadership: why the Chinese are wary of charismatic leaders, why even small businesses need less management and more leadership, and why a company's chief executive is usually the most dangerous person in the business.

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