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Barclays bank says 1Q net profit up 12 pct

May 7, 2009 2:54 am | by ROBERT BARR - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — First-quarter net profit at Barclays PLC rose 12 percent from a year ago as investment banking profits surged from the acquisition of U.S. assets of bankrupt Lehman Brothers, though the bank posted a steep 79 percent increase in writeoffs on bad investments due to the financial...

Marchionne to head Chrysler

May 7, 2009 2:39 am | by COLLEEN BARRY - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

MILAN (AP) — Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne will become the chief executive of Chrysler after the U.S. automaker emerges from bankruptcy, a Fiat spokesman confirmed Thursday.Marchionne, the 56-year-old dual Canadian and Italian citizen, has been tipped for the job since the Italian automaker...

China's Geely denies planning bids for Saab, Volvo

May 7, 2009 1:58 am | by ELAINE KURTENBACH - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — Chinese automaker Geely Automobile Holdings denied reports Thursday it is bidding for General Motors Corp.'s Saab brand or Ford Motor Co.'s Swedish unit Volvo — despite growing speculation that a move for either brand could be in the offing.Responding to a 13.6 percent jump in the...

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Report: China car sales rise to fresh monthly high

May 7, 2009 1:53 am | by ELAINE KURTENBACH - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's passenger car sales likely rose to a record monthly high of 1.15 million units in April, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday, citing industry figures.Official figures from the government-affiliated China Association of Automobile Manufacturers are due within...

Dow Jones, SBI to start Japanese WSJ.com

May 7, 2009 1:48 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — The Wall Street Journal is going multilingual in Asia soon.Japanese financial services firm SBI Holdings Inc. said Thursday it will set up a joint venture with the financial daily's owner, Dow Jones & Co., to launch a Japanese edition of the newspaper's Web site.The new offering will...

Germany wins EU OK for Commerzbank rescue

May 7, 2009 1:33 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BRUSSELS (AP) — Germany has won EU backing to bail out the country's second-biggest lender Commerzbank but will face an EU probe into its rescue plan for lender Hypo Real Estate.Commerzbank AG will get another euro10 billion fresh capital from the German government, on top of a euro8.2 billion cash...

EU widens probe into Northern Rock rescue plan

May 7, 2009 1:33 am | by AOIFE WHITE - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

BRUSSELS (AP) — EU regulators on Thursday widened a probe into Britain's rescue and nationalization of mortgage lender Northern Rock to check whether it was legal to split it into a 'good' and 'bad' bank.Britain wants to hive off the bank's past housing loans into a separate, so-called 'bad' bank...

Iceland cuts interest rates to 13 percent

May 7, 2009 1:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — Iceland's central bank has cut official interest rates by 2.5 percentage points to 13 percent to help the country's troubled economy.It is the third cut in rates this year by the central bank, called Sedlabanki. The central bank has indicated a series of trims is likely, saying...

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Recent rains revive Kansas winter wheat crop

May 7, 2009 1:13 am | by ROXANA HEGEMAN - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Recent rains have helped revive parched winter wheat crops in western Kansas but farms elsewhere are still waiting for relief, industry experts said.About 45 farmers and other industry leaders fanned out this week across Kansas to inspect fields during an annual tour by the...

Unilever first-quarter net profit falls 45 percent

May 7, 2009 12:27 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Unilever NV, the maker of consumer products such as Dove soaps and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, on Thursday reported a 45 percent fall in net profit for the first quarter compared to a year ago, when earnings were increased by the sale of its Boursin cheese operations.The company also...

AB-InBev to raise $1.8 bn from S. Korea sale

May 6, 2009 10:51 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BRUSSELS (AP) — Brewer Anheuser Busch-InBev said Thursday it will raise $1.8 billion by selling South Korea's Oriental Brewery, the country's second largest, to private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP. to cut down on its huge debt burden.The owner of Budweiser, the world's...

French bank Societe Generale posts 1Q loss

May 6, 2009 10:46 pm | by GREG KELLER - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

PARIS (AP) — French bank Societe Generale said Thursday it returned to a loss in the first quarter after the further devaluation of assets linked to U.S. real estate caused it to take nearly euro2 billion ($2.7 billion) in new writedowns and provisions.Paris-based Societe Generale, which had...

Anhueser-Busch InBev to sell Oriental Brewery

May 6, 2009 9:40 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Anhueser-Busch InBev says it has agreed to sell South Korea's Oriental Brewery to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for $1.8 billion.Belgium-based Beer giant Anhueser-Busch InBev and U.S. private equity fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts made the announcement Thursday in a...

World stocks rise ahead of US stress tests results

May 6, 2009 9:40 pm | by LOUISE WATT - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — European stocks extended their rally Thursday and U.S. markets opened higher ahead of the formal release of the results for the U.S. government's stress tests of the country's biggest banks.European indexes remained higher after the European Central Bank cut its main interest rate by...

Nintendo's annual profit rises 8.5 percent

May 6, 2009 9:29 pm | by YURI KAGEYAMA - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Nintendo's annual profit rose 8.5 percent, propelled by its hit Wii and DS game machines, but a forecast for lower sales shows even the resilient video game maker isn't totally immune to the global slump.Still, Nintendo is faring much better than other big name Japanese manufacturers...

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