By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese regulator said on Tuesday it is conducting an anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft Corp because the firm has not fully disclosed information about its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office software. China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) was investigating a Microsoft vice president and senior managers, and has made copies of the firm's financial statements and contracts, the SAIC said on its website. Microsoft is one of the biggest U.S. companies to fall under the eye of Chinese regulators as they ramp up their oversight in an apparent attempt to protect local companies and customers.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stocks extended gains Tuesday ahead of U.S. and Chinese economic reports later this week while European markets were subdued amid the possibility of new sanctions against Russia. The South Korean stock market closed at a three-year high.
UBS booked a 254 million Swiss franc ($280.79 million) charge in the second quarter mainly to settle claims it helped wealthy Germans to dodge taxes, the latest in a string of lawsuits that have targeted its private banking business. The Zurich-based lender's offices in Germany were searched last year as part of an investigation of 750 cases involving foundations, a probe sparked by a CD with details of UBS clients that was purchased by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). UBS, which faces a separate probe in Germany and similar probes in Belgium and France, said it aims to have all of its German clients come clean by year-end, from more than 95 percent currently. The bank on Tuesday reported a quarterly net profit of 792 million Swiss francs from 690 million francs a year earlier, when results were marred by an $885 million settlement with the U.S. housing regulator over the mis-selling of mortgage-backed bonds.
Airbus Group NV said on Tuesday it has terminated an agreement to deliver six A380 superjumbo jets to Skymark Airlines Inc after the Japanese discount carrier struggled to raise enough cash to pay installments on the aircraft. In a briefing in Tokyo before Airbus's announcement, Skymark's CEO and chief investor, Shinichi Nishikubo, said that the European aircraft maker had refused to consider changes to the 2011 purchase agreement, including reducing the number of aircraft or offering smaller jets and had notified it of the termination in a faxed message on Sunday. "We didn't get the chance to sit down and have a formal discussion," Nishikubo said. The termination marks a setback for Airbus in Japan after it won its first order ever from Japan Airlines (JAL) last year which agreed to buy more than 30 A350 jets.
GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS, reported Tuesday a 15 percent rise in second-quarter profit, driven by strong results from its core wealth management business and trimmed-down investment banking franchises despite a tough market environment.
By Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - World shares hovered just below all-time highs on Tuesday as investors drew encouragement from a rally in Chinese markets and beaten-down Russian stocks enjoyed some relief after three days of heavy selling. Investors remained cautious, however, given geopolitical jitters and a torrent of U.S. economic news due to come this week, including a Federal Reserve meeting and GDP data on Wednesday and non-farm payrolls figures on Friday. The dollar shuffled higher on bets it will all add up to the Fed hiking U.S. interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis early next year. Russian stocks steadied too after investors dumped them in recent days in anticipation of broader economic sanctions to be imposed by the European Union on Moscow this week.
McDonald's Holdings Co (Japan) withdrew its earnings guidance for the year on Tuesday and said it was working on a contingency plan after a major meat supplier in China was shut down by regulators for food safety breaches. The Japanese unit of the world's biggest hamburger chain immediately switched to alternative chicken supplies both in China and Thailand after the scandal broke last week. McDonald's Japan had forecast an operating profit of 11.7 billion yen ($115 million) for the full year to Dec. 31, up 1.5 percent from 2013, and net profit of 6 billion, up 17 percent. Chief Executive Sarah Casanova said that while its Thai suppliers had enough capacity to handle Japanese demand, the company needed a contingency plan.
By Ron Bousso LONDON (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer BP reported a sharp rise in second quarter profits on Tuesday but warned that further Western sanctions on Russia could harm its business there and its relationship with Russian state oil company Rosneft. BP said that to date, the sanctions had not had a significant effect on its business in Russia, where it makes about a third of its crude oil output, but that could change. "If further international sanctions are imposed on Rosneft or new sanctions are imposed on Russia or other Russian individuals or entities, this could have a material adverse impact on our relationship with and investment in Rosneft, our business and strategic objectives in Russia and our financial position and results of operations," it said.
By Thomas Atkins and Arno Schuetze FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank's plan to become "the last man standing" in investment banking in Europe is working, the bank said on Tuesday, reporting a 16 percent year-on-year increase in quarterly pretax income. Deutsche Bank faces an array of investigations that ranges from allegations of manipulating the Libor benchmark rate to unfairly favoring some investors in so-called dark pools and has already paid more than 5 billion euros over the past two years in settlements and fines. In a new development, Deutsche Bank said it had received requests for information from regulators related to high frequency trading, and that it had been named as a defendant in class action complaints alleging violations of U.S. securities laws related to high frequency trading. Deutsche Bank has come under heavy fire from U.S. authorities in recent weeks, with regulators slamming the bank for shoddy financial reporting, weak technology and inadequate auditing and oversight, which it is addressing in part by hiring 500 U.S. staff.
BERLIN (AP) — Deutsche Bank AG posted a 29 percent drop in second-quarter net profit Tuesday, hit by what it described as higher taxes, declining revenue and political instability affecting the markets.
TOKYO (AP) — Honda's quarterly profit surged nearly 20 percent on demand for remodeled cars in Japan and elsewhere in Asia. The Japanese automaker also raised its full-year profit and sales forecasts.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A $1,000-per-pill drug that insurers are reluctant to pay for has quickly become the treatment of choice for a liver-wasting viral disease that affects more than 3 million Americans.
The public trial of a foreign couple linked to GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) is set for Aug. 8, a Shanghai court said on Tuesday. Earlier this month, Chinese prosecutors accused British investigator Peter Humphrey and his American wife Yu Yingzeng for illegally obtaining private information. The couple will stand trial at 9:30 a.m. (0130 GMT) on Aug. 8 for "illegally obtaining private information about citizens", according to a brief statement posted on the website of the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court. Courts in China are tightly controlled by the ruling Communist Party, and defendants are almost always convicted.