Morning business round-up: Shares rise on Cyprus plan

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European stock markets have risen after officials agreed a bailout deal for Cyprus following a week of uncertainty.

The main markets in France and Germany were both up by about 1.5% in the first hours of trading. The euro was also up against other major currencies.

The rises followed a rally in Asian shares earlier in the day.

Investors are hopeful that the deal struck between Cyprus, European authorities and the IMF will prevent the crisis escalating further.

The major UK banks saw a 45% rise in core profits in 2012, but that increase was wiped out by a mix of regulation and their own mistakes, a KPMG report says.

Its performance report looks at Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and Standard Chartered.

It says the banks' combined core profits last year were £31.5bn.

But this was eliminated by the "cost of past mistakes and increased creditworthiness of their own debt", the audit firm's report says.

The ratings agency Fitch warned on Friday that it may downgrade the UK's credit rating in April.

It has put the UK's long-term rating on Credit Watch Negative, which it said showed "a heightened probability of a downgrade".

The agency said it was due to higher-than-expected debt levels and downward revisions to UK growth forecasts.

The review followed last week's Budget in which UK growth forecasts for 2013 were halved.

The Indian unit of Ford Motor Company has apologised for an advertisement showing former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with a group of bound women in the trunk of a car.

The advert, showing three women bound and gagged in the trunk of a Ford Figo car, appeared on a website.

Mr Berlusconi was shown in the driver's seat with a slogan: "Leave your worries behind with Figo's extra-large boot".

The advert has not been used commercially.

The latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service comes from Rome, where it asks if the Cypriot bailout and political gridlock in Italy could throw Europe into turmoil once again.

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