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Written by fe Bureau | Updated: Aug 31 2011, 05:34am hrs
Japan jobless rate rises, retail sales drop

Japans jobless rate rose for a second month and retail sales dropped, underscoring the challenge for incoming Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in securing Japans recovery from the March 11 earthquake. The unemployment rate rose to 4.7% in July as payrolls fell by 40,000 from a month earlier, the statistics bureau said on Tuesday in Tokyo. Retail sales slid a seasonally adjusted 0.3% from June, a trade ministry report showed. Noda, scheduled to be voted premier designate by parliament on Tuesday, inherits a recovery under threat from an advancing yen and a global slowdown.

Samsung launches three OS smartphones

Samsung Electronics unveiled three smartphone models that run on its own operating system, as it seeks to expand market share in the low-end segment and diversify its lineups heavily focused on Google's Android software. The Wave series models backed by Samsung's proprietary system "bada" reflects the South Korean firm's shift in strategy from being a pure hardware manufacturer to become more software-focused. It is also aimed at pulling together Samsung's different products of smartphones, televisions, printers and computers under its own software platform and online application store Samsung Apps.

SABMiller sends Fosters bond risk to record

SABMillers hostile A$9.5-billion ($10.1 billion) bid for Fosters Group is sending the price to insure the debt of Australias biggest beermaker to a record. Credit-default swaps on Fosters bonds rose 39 basis points this month to 130 basis points, exceeding a gauge of global brewers for the first time since at least May 2009 when Bloomberg started compiling the data. Fosters stock rose 2.2% above the offer price on Tuesday, indicating SABMiller may have to raise its bid after taking the all-debt offer to the Melbourne-based companys shareholders to bypass the boards rejection.

UBS aims to transform wealth division

UBS AG is transforming the way it advises wealthy clients by getting ideas from across the bank and external experts and speeding decision making, chief investment officer Alexander Friedman said. Friedman compares Switzerlands biggest bank to Airbus SASs A380 double-decker plane: big, complicated, with a lot of people on board. His job is to make it more agile for the benefit of clients who entrusted the bank with 748 billion Swiss francs ($914 billion) of invested assets, as well as for UBS itself, which aims to boost earnings after record losses in the credit crisis.

Carrefour may abandon earnings forecast

Carrefour , the worlds second- largest retailer, may have to drop its annual earnings forecast as a reorganisation in its home market of France failed to boost sales growth quickly enough. Current operating income may drop 11% to 2.4 billion euros ($3.5 billion) in 2011 from 2.7 billion euros, according to the median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. First-half profit fell about 23%, Carrefour said last month, adding that the decline was a handicap to reaching its full-year target. The grocer will announce details of first-half earnings and its recovery plan on Wednesday.

Libya rebels ask Algeria to return Gaddafi family

Libyas rebels accused neighbouring Algeria of an act of aggression for admitting the fleeing wife of Muammar Gaddafi and three of his children, but the whereabouts of the former strongman himself remain a mystery a week after his overthrow. Algerias foreign ministry said Gaddafis wife Safia, his daughter Aisha and his sons Hannibal and Mohammed had entered Algeria on Monday morning. The development threatened to create a diplomatic rift just as the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) worked to consolidate its position as Libyas new government.

Australias ANZ in early talks to buy Japans Aozora Bank

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is in early stage talks to buy Japan's Aozora Bank which has a market value of $4.2 billion, two sources familiar with the deal said on Tuesday, as it seeks to expand in Asia. ANZ is eyeing Aozora for its deposit base and also to use it as a springboard to tap trade flows in Japan, which is Australia's second-largest trading partner after China. "The talks are at an embryonic stage," one source said, adding the deal should satisfy all the main parameters such as pricing and potential for return on investments. An ANZ spokesman declined comment on any deal but said the bank was always looking at opportunities to advance its Asian strategy, which calls for its Asian businesses to account for up to 30% of group profit by 2017.

China state media urge crackdown on microblog rumors

China's state-run news agency demanded on Tuesday that Internet companies, regulators and police do more to cleanse websites of "toxic rumors," adding to signs that the ruling Communist Party wants to tame the explosion of freewheeling microblogs. The Xinhua news agency's denunciation of Internet "rumor mongering" came after a senior official last week urged Sina Corp and other Chinese companies do more to staunch harmful hearsay among the 200 million or more Chinese who use Twitter-like microblogs to spread information with lightning speed. China's Internet, with more registered users than any other nation, is a lively forum for public opinion, said Xinhua.