Morning Wrap: need to know business stories

Top business stories from around the web.

New Statesman

Chinese manufacturing growth slows in April (FT)

Growth in China’s manufacturing sector slowed in April, providing further evidence of weakness in the world’s second-largest economy.

China’s official purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 50.6 in April from 50.9 in March, indicating a slowdown in manufacturing activity that was led by a slump in new export orders. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector while a reading below 50 means that manufacturing activity shrank.

Vince Cable calls for RBS prosecutions decision (BBC)

Business Secretary Vince Cable has written to the Scottish legal authorities urging a rapid decision on whether to prosecute former directors of Royal Bank of Scotland.

Mr Cable said the matter had been referred to them in January last year.

He said he was very keen for a decision to be reached as quickly as possible to maintain public confidence.

Home Retail Group reports Argos sales rise (BBC)

Argos has reported a rise in underlying sales for the first time in five years, its owner Home Retail Group has said.

Like-for-like sales at Argos - which strip out the impact of new store space - rose 2.1% for the year to 2 March, with total sales up to £3.93bn.

Apple to break borrowing record with bond to fund capital return (Telegraph)

The iPhone maker is tapping global debt markets for the first time in almost two decades as part of what analysts say is the most tax-efficient way of returning money to shareholders, as the company looks to appease them after they watched Apple’s shares slump by 38pc since September.

Shares rise as Antofagasta update boosts lagging miners (Reuters)

Miners led FTSE top shares higher in low-volume trade early on Wednesday, with a strong production update from Antofagasta tempting investors to move back into a sector that has lagged the market this year.