Africa is the fastest-growing mobile phone market in the world and the second largest after Asia, according to a new survey. African users have grown by 20 per cent in each of the last five years and are expected to number 735 million by the end of 2012.

The parent company of British Airways agreed to buy British Midland (bmc) from Lufthansa. The purchase will give BA an extra 10 per cent of slots at Heathrow Airport, taking its access to over 50 per cent.

France's prime minister, Francois Fillon, introduced a new set of austerity measures to meet deficit reduction targets. He said France had been overspending for 30 years and that “bankruptcy was no longer an abstract word”.

A US federal judge ordered Raj Rajaratnam to pay US$92.8m to settle charges related to his conviction of insider dealing. The sum, a record, was three times the profit made by Mr Rajaratnam through illegal share tip-offs.

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