Weak sales raise pressure on Nestle boss to speed up overhaul

ZURICH - Nestle trimmed its 2017 sales forecast to what would be its weakest growth in 20 years, adding fuel to calls on chief executive Mark Schneider to speed up a turnaround of the world's largest food group.

Since taking control of the maker of KitKat bars and Nescafe coffee in January, Schneider has faced calls to improve its performance, led by activist inve

China willing to sacrifice growth to manage systemic risks: senior official

BEIJING - A senior Chinese economic official on Thursday indicated that policymakers would be willing to sacrifice some short-term economic growth in order to deal with systemic risks.

Beijing is trying to contain rising debt and defuse property bubbles amid fears such risks could derail the world's second-largest economy if not handled well, but policymakers will

Euro zone lending growth unexpectedly weak in June

FRANKFURT - Growth in bank lending was unexpectedly weak in June, European Central Bank data showed on Thursday, a potentially worrying sign for policymakers even if a one-off factor may have contributed to the slowdown.

Lending to euro zone non-financial corporations slowed to 2.1 percent in June from 2.5 percent in May, when it hit its best level since the start of

Why record U.S. oil exports are poised for even more growth

NEW YORK/HOUSTON  - U.S. refineries are producing more fuel than ever as they seek to meet rising demand - from overseas, rather than the drivers on nearby roadways.

Last year, the U.S. became the world's top net exporter of fuel, an outgrowth of booming domestic production since the shale oil revolution started in 2010. That's a fundamental shift from th

UK economy up 0.3% in Quarterly Result

Britain's GDP grew 0.3 per cent in the second quarter, a weaker increase from that of the previous quarter and below the central bank's projection, amid continued economic sluggishness.

The GDP growth was 0.1 percentage point higher than that of the first quarter, but did not meet the forecast of 0.4 per cent by the Bank of England (BOE), Britain's central bank, accor

AstraZeneca shares plunge 16 percent as lung cancer study fails

LONDON- AsAstraZeneca's combination of two injectable immunotherapy drugs failed to help patients as hoped in a closely watched advanced lung cancer trial, sending its shares plunging on Thursday.

The so-called MYSTIC study was the most anticipated clinical experiment in the pharmaceutical industry this year and the news saw the shares tumble more than 16 percent,

South Korea`s LG Electronics books Quarterly result profit held back by mobiles

SEOUL  - LG Electronics Inc on Thursday said continued losses in its mobile unit limited growth in second-quarter profit to 13.6 percent, as the firm prepares to release a handset in the third quarter that it hopes will turn the tide.

The South Korean firm said operating profit reached 664 billion won ($597 million) in April-June, in line with its estimate earlie

Microsoft to reward up to $250,000 bounty to bug finders

 To ensure Windows 10 is secure and bug-free, Microsoft has announced a fresh round of Windows Bounty Programme that will reward the bug finders up to $250,000 if they are able to discover exploits in Microsoft's virtualisation software.

Bounty payouts will range from $500 to $250,000.

Microsoft has been running the bounty programme since 2012 but the company is exp

Deutsche Bank expects lower 2017 revenue after mixed Quarterly Result

FRANKFURT - Deutsche Bank posted a sharp rise in second-quarter net profit to 466 million euros ($547 million) on Thursday, benefiting from lower legal costs for past misdeeds that outweighed a dip in debt trading.

Germany's flagship lender beat the expectations of analysts, who had forecast net income of 273 million euros after just 20 million euros in the s

Pratt & Whitney in hot seat as Airbus profits fall

PARIS - Airbus turned up the heat on engine maker Pratt & Whitney over delays that have disrupted its biggest production line after reporting a sharp drop in mid-year profits on Thursday.

The head of the world's second-largest planemaker challenged the U.S. engine maker, whose fuel-saving Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine is tied to thousands of orders for A320neo

China industrial profits jump most in 3 months, weather higher financing costs


Earnings for China's industrial firms in June rose at the fastest pace in three months in the latest sign economic momentum in the country remains solid, though analysts expect growth to slow later this year as tighter policies begin to bite.

Profits surged 19.1 percent in June from a year earlier to 727.78 billion yuan ($107.83 billion),

Noble shrinks, sells part of business to Mercuria as it faces huge quarterly loss

SINGAPORE  - Noble Group, once Asia's largest commodities trader, is to cut staff and sell assets, including its U.S. gas and power business to Mercuria Energy Group, as it faces a quarterly loss of up to $1.8 billion.

Hong Kong-based Noble added that it would "explore strategic alliances in Asia" with Mercuria after establishing some initial links

Samsung Electronics expects continued chip boom after record second quarter profit

SEOUL - Samsung Electronics Co Ltdn Thursday said it expected the memory chip boom to continue in the current quarter, after reporting a record operating profit for the three months through June.

The world's biggest maker of memory chips, smartphones and television sets is widely expected to break profit records for the full year, as better-than-forecast perf

Foxconn announces U.S. manufacturing plant in Wisconsin

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn on Wednesday announced plans to build a $10 billion LCD display panel screen plant in Wisconsin, a deal President Donald Trump asserted would not have happened without his efforts.

The company said it plans to invest $10 billion over four years to build a 20-million square foot plant that could eventually employ up to 13,000.


Asia shares at highest in nearly a decade, dollar skids on Fed

SYDNEY  - Stocks, bonds and commodities were all on a roll on Thursday as bulls scented a softening in the Federal Reserve's confidence on inflation that promised to keep U.S. interest rates low for longer.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 1 percent to heights not seen since December 2007. It has gained over 5 percent so

Sluggish UK economy inches forward, Bank of England unlikely to act


Britain's economy failed to build much momentum over the past three months after almost stalling at the start of the year, reducing an already slim chance that the Bank of England will soon reverse last year's emergency interest rate cut.

Economic output grew by 0.3 percent on the quarter, edging up from a sluggish rate of 0.2 percent in the first

Factbox: How will the UK Labour Party`s `Robin Hood` plan to tax bond and derivative trading work?

Britain's opposition Labour Party has proposed new taxes on financial transactions, targeting London's world-leading trade in derivatives and bonds for a 4.7 billion pound ($6 billion) windfall to help fund its left wing policy agenda.

Despite losing a national election in June, Labour describe itself as a 'government in waiting' and is campaigning in the hope that The

Lower tax rate fuels Ford beat, seen lifting full-year profit

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co on Wednesday reported a better-than-expected quarterly net profit due to a lower tax rate and increased sales of more profitable pickup trucks in the U.S. market, and the company said that reduced tax rate would boost its full-year profits.

But the No. 2 U.S. automaker also leaned heavily on consumer discounts during the quarter and the cost of

JPMorgan to merge UK-based private bank with wider European ops: Sky News

JPMorgan Chase & Co, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, is planning to merge its UK-based private banking unit with its wider European wealth operation ahead of the UK's exit from the European Union, Sky News reported on Wednesday.

The merger will lead to the relocation of fewer than 100 of the roughly 1,000 jobs in the private banking unit in Britain, to Europe, Sky reported, c

Graphic: Key issues before next week`s Bank of England meeting

LONDON  - Bank of England policymakers face conflicting signals about the economy as they prepare to debate next week whether to raise borrowing costs for the first time in a decade.

Inflation is running above the BoE's 2 percent target and unemployment is at its lowest level in more than 40 years.

But wages are growing only weakly and evidence for

Qatar could adopt more independent monetary policy if needed: central banker

DUBAI - Qatar could adopt a monetary policy more independent of the United States if that proves necessary to combat economic sanctions by its Gulf Arab neighbours, a Qatari central banker said.

Like most Gulf Arab oil exporters, Qatar pegs its currency to the U.S. dollar, putting pressure on its central bank to imitate interest rate moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Daimler second-quarter earnings lag as cartel allegations loom

FRANKFURT - Daimler's co-operation projects with carmakers will not be curbed by a European Commission investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour among German carmakers, Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said on Wednesday.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday that German carmakers Daimler, BMW, VW, Porsche and Audi held meetings to discuss suppli

Global Markets: Dollar falls, U.S. bond prices rise as Fed tone mildly dovish

LONDON- The dollar touched its lowest in more than a year and U.S. Treasury prices rose on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and signaled it could begin to cut its massive bond portfolio in the coming months.

U.S. stocks held their gains after the statement, hitting record closing highs on another day of strong earnings reports from com

Hyundai Motor`s H1 profit posts double-digit fall

Hyundai Motor, South Korea's biggest automaker, posted a double-digit fall in operating profit for the first half of this year, the company said on Wednesday.

Operating profit tumbled 16.4 per cent over the year to 2.6 trillion won ($2.3 billion) in the January-June period, Xinhua news agency cited Hyundai as saying in a statement.

Operating margin declined 1.2 percentag

Analysis: No more low cost - East Europe goes up in the world

BRATISLAVA - Central and Eastern Europe faces the end of an economic era.

With employment rates at record highs, and workers demanding wages closer to western levels, the cheap-labour model that has driven growth since the fall of communism is on the way out.

The challenge that faces governments and companies in the region over the coming years is to find ne