Toshiba plans Westinghouse Chapter 11 filing, expects $9 billion in charges - sources

TOKYO  - Japan's Toshiba Corp has informed its main lenders it is planning for its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co LLC to file for bankruptcy on March 31, people briefed on the matter said on Friday.

Toshiba expects a Chapter 11 filing for Westinghouse would expand charges related to the U.S. unit in the current financial year to around 1 trillion

Exclusive - HSBC to boost China staff by up to 1,000 in 2017, mostly in Pearl River Delta

By Sumeet Chatterjee

HONG KONG - HSBC plans to add as many as 1,000 new employees to its Chinese retail banking and wealth management arm this year, the business's regional head said, most of them in the Pearl River Delta, the heart of the bank's growth strategy in China.

If that target is hit, the new additions will mean HSBC will have hired twice a

Greece says to support Rome declaration, calls for EU backing on labour reforms

By Renee Maltezou

ATHENS  - Greece will support a declaration marking the European Union's 60th birthday but needs the bloc's backing against International Monetary Fund demands on labour reforms, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said ahead of a Summit in Rome on Friday.

In a letter addressed to EU Council President Donald Tusk and Commission

Schaeuble criticises foreign minister for saying Germany should pay more to EU

BERLIN  - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Friday criticised Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel for saying Germany should provide more money for Greece and the European Union overall.

Debt-laden Greece has struggled to implement reforms in return for financial support, much of which has come from the EU. Germany, a major contributor to the EU's aid

Singapore February factory output rises 12.6 percent

SINGAPORE  - Singapore's industrial production rose more than expected from a year earlier in February, driven by a surge in electronics manufacturing output, data showed on Friday.

Manufacturing output in February rose 12.6 percent from a year earlier, the Singapore Economic Development Board said.

This exceeds the median forecast of 12 economists

BOJ chief Kuroda says "no reason" to withdraw stimulus now

By William Mallard and Leika Kihara

TOKYO - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said there is "no reason" to raise the bank's bond yield targets now with inflation so far from its 2 percent target, offering his strongest denial to date of the chance of withdrawing its massive stimulus any time soon.

The former top Japanese currency diplomat

Toshiba banks push for quick Westinghouse bankruptcy filing - Nikkei

TOKYO  - Toshiba Corp's main lenders are asking it to submit a bankruptcy filing for U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co LLC by the end of this month, the Nikkei business daily reported on Friday, without citing sources.

Such a move would pile further pressure on the embattled conglomerate to make a quick decision over a Chapter 11 filing after Finance

Samsung Elec rejects calls for holding company structure, for now

By Se Young Lee

SEOUL  - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Friday said it will not adopt a holding company structure for now, rejecting demands from U.S. activist hedge fund Elliott Management and putting off a long-anticipated restructuring.

Investors had expected the global leader in smartphones and memory chips to adopt a holding company structure, as th

Dollar, world stocks inch up as US healthcare vote back on

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY  - The dollar recouped a little lost ground on Friday amid signs a delayed vote on President Donald Trump's healthcare bill would go ahead later in the day, though it remained unclear whether it would pass.

Investors regard the vote as test for the Trump presidency that could show whether it can muster the backing needed to push

Donald Trump preparing orders to review trade deals, procurement - officials

By David Lawder and David Shepardson

WASHINGTON  - The Trump administration is preparing new executive orders to re-examine all 14 U.S. free trade agreements and review government procurement policies to aid American companies, two administration officials said.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada will top the list of

New Zealand in free-trade push ahead of China Premier Li visit

WELLINGTON - New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English on Friday announced a renewed push to promote free trade in his first major trade policy announcement since taking over as leader last December.

New Zealand's $180 billion economy depends on exports, and the country lobbied hard in favour of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. It wants to push for an expan

RBS to close 180 branches due to dramatic online shift

By Andrew MacAskill

State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland said on Thursday it planned to close about 180 bank branches in Britain and Ireland and about 1,000 roles were at risk in the latest round of cuts and closures at the lender.

The Edinburgh-based said in a statement the changes were due to a "dramatic shift" in retail banking with more customers increasingly ba

Higher investments, sales drop to weigh on Ford Q1 earnings

By Nick Carey

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co said on Thursday it expects lower earnings per share in the first quarter and lower pretax profit in 2017 due to higher spending on commodities, warranties and investments and a drop in sales volumes especially fleet sales.

Ford shares were down nearly 1 percent at $11.66 in late morning trading after the announcement, w

Fed's Yellen does not comment on monetary policy

By Lindsay Dunsmuir

WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen did not address monetary policy or the economic outlook in prepared remarks for a childhood education conference in Washington on Thursday.

The two-day conference which she was introducing is focused on how to educate children and young adults for future success in employment.

Yell

With Sears' future in doubt, vendors begin pulling back

Suppliers to Sears Holdings Corp told Reuters they are doubling down on defensive measures, such as reducing shipments and asking for better payment terms, to protect against the risk of nonpayment as the company warned about its finances.

The company's disclosure turned the focus to its vendors as tension is expected to mount ahead of the key fourth-quarter selling season amid ri

Surplus will shrink with age, Germany says, but don't blame us for being efficient

BERLIN - Germany has launched a two-pronged attack on U.S. President Donald Trump's charge that its current account surplus is too high -- don't blame us for being good at what we do, and our ageing population is going to eat it all up anyway.

The finance ministry said in its monthly report on Thursday that as Germany's society ages fast, its swelling seni

Insight: As Trump targets energy rules, oil companies downplay their impact

BOSTON - President Donald Trump’s White House has said his plans to slash environmental regulations will trigger a new energy boom and help the United States drill its way to independence from foreign oil.

But the top U.S. oil and gas companies have been telling their shareholders that regulations have little impact on their business, according to a Reuters revi

Accenture's profit slips as costs rise

Consulting and outsourcing services provider Accenture Plc reported a smaller quarterly profit on Thursday, hurt in part by higher costs.

Shares of the company were down 2.7 percent at $123.11 before the bell.

Operating costs rose 4.3 percent to $7.62 billion in the second quarter ended Feb. 28.

Accenture has been investing heavily in fast-growing businesses such a

Global stocks, sterling hold steady after London attack

By Marc Jones

LONDON - Stocks and sterling held their ground on Thursday as markets took the latest European terror attack, this time in London, one of the world's financial capitals, largely in their stride.

The FTSEurofirst 300 barely budged as London, Frankfurt and Paris started flat and the pound fared better than most as the dollar began to muscle h

UK retail sales suffer biggest three-monthly drop since 2010 as fuel costs bite

British retail sales in the three months to February recorded their biggest slide in nearly seven years as higher fuel prices eroded shoppers' disposable income, official data showed on Thursday.

British inflation is starting to climb rapidly in the wake of the hefty slide in sterling seen after June's vote to leave the European Union - something economists expect to eat into

Euro zone survey data point to robust first quarter, ECB says

FRANKFURT - Economic recovery in the euro zone is gaining ground and some data point to robust momentum in the first quarter despite uncertainty over Brexit, China's rebalancing and new U.S. policies clouding the outlook, the European Central Bank said on Thursday.

"Incoming data, notably survey results, have increased the Governing Council’s confidence

Starbucks to add 240,000 jobs worldwide by 2021

US coffeehouse chain, Starbucks has planned to hire 240,000 more people globally by 2021, including 68,000 jobs in America, the media reported.

The company announced its plans for a hiring spree at its annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, CNN reported. 

It marks the final shareholder event that Howard Schultz will attend as CEO before being replaced by Kevin Johnso

German consumer sentiment unexpectedly falls heading into April - GfK

German consumer sentiment unexpectedly fell to its lowest level in five months going into April, a survey showed on Thursday, partly due to people's concerns that rising inflation will erode their purchasing power.

The consumer sentiment indicator, published by the Nuremberg-based GfK institute and based on a survey of around 2,000 Germans, fell to 9.8 going into April. Economists