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Japan's Hitachi Half-Year Net Profit Down 67.8%

Japanese high-tech firm Hitachi on Tuesday said its net profit fell 67.8 percent in the six months to September, hit by the impact of the March earthquake and a strong yen.

Hitachi's net profit came to 50.9 billion yen ($652 million) in the April-September first half, which was still slightly higher than a recently upgraded profit forecast of 50.0 billion yen.

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U.S. Advises Turkey: Strong Democracy Will Help Economy

Turkey's economic development and its role as a regional power will be reinforced by a strengthening of its democracy and peace with its neighbors, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday.

"Turkey’s ability to realize its full potential depends upon its resolve to strengthen democracy at home and promote peace in the neighborhood," Clinton said in a speech at the American-Turkish Council.

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Report: Lebanese Banks Freeze Dollar Accounts of Syrians

Lebanese banks have been ordered by the Central Bank to freeze the accounts in dollars of Syrians residing in their country, banking sources told al-Liwaa daily published Tuesday.

But a lot of Syrians, who have accounts in dollars, converted them to other currencies to avoid the pressure of international sanctions, the sources said.

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Qantas Gets Back to Normal as Fallout Ramps Up

Qantas services began returning to normal Tuesday after days of chaos, as the airline began the task of winning back the hearts and minds of passengers and a furious government.

In a statement on its website, the carrier said domestic routes were scheduled as usual with all international flights returning to business by late in the day.

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Honda's Profit Sinks, Thai Flooding Clouds Outlook

Honda's quarterly profit tumbled 56 percent, battered by the strong yen and production disruptions from the March tsunami disaster that are likely to be compounded by flooding in Thailand.

The automaker, which makes the Accord sedan and Odyssey minivan, said Monday that net profit for the July-September fiscal second quarter fell to 60.4 billion yen ($788 million).

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Report: Credit Suisse to Announce 1,000 Job Cuts

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse is expected to announce 1,000 job cuts when it publishes its third-quarter earnings results on Tuesday, newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported on Monday.

When contacted by Agence France Presse, a spokesman from the bank declined to comment on the report. He said however that the chief executive of the bank Brady Dougan would hold a press conference on Tuesday.

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G20 Leaders to Meet under Threat of New Global Recession

Leaders of the world's biggest economies meet in Cannes this week as Europe tries to convince markets and U.S. critics that its debt bail-out package is serious and urges China to fund it.

Much is at stake in the G20 summit on the French seafront. The world stands on the brink of a new global recession, and the leaders of the 20 most powerful developed and emerging economies need to agree measures to boost growth.

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Report: Saudi Investments in Lebanon Reached $5.33 Billion

The head of the Saudi-Lebanese Business Council Abdul Mohsen al-Hukair has unveiled that Saudi investments in Lebanon reached 5.33 billion dollars mostly in the real estate sector.

The Saudi al-Riyadh daily quoted al-Hukair as saying that the investments are likely to increase.

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Syria Revolt Strains Lebanon's Economy

Lebanon's economy is feeling the strain of a seven-month uprising against Syria's Bashar al-Assad, as the increasingly violent revolt takes its toll on tourism, trade and capital inflows.

"The Arab Spring has not been remotely beneficial to the Lebanese economy. In fact, it's deprived us of two crucial markets -- Syria and Egypt -- at a time when all our drivers of growth over the past five years are on the decline," said Beirut-based economist Sami Nader.

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Angry at World Bank, Ecuador President Exits Summit

Ecuador's leftist president stormed out of a summit of leaders of Latin America, Spain and Portugal on Saturday, demanding apologies from a World Bank representative.

Leaders from Spanish and Portuguese-speaking nations were wrapping up a two-day event here on how to weather the effects of the global economic slowdown.

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