Top Business Stories
By Jeff Mason, Mark Felsenthal and David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama proposed new tax credits and job-training programs for U.S. workers on Tuesday in a 2015 budget that drew instant condemnation from Republicans, who dismissed the document as an election-year campaign pitch. The $3.9 trillion blueprint for the fiscal year that begins on October 1 also would boost spending on roads and bridges and expand early-childhood education while paying for some of the additional spending by scaling back tax breaks for wealthier Americans. ...
French carmaker Renault (RNO.PA) has trimmed its growth forecast for the global market this year as the industry becomes increasingly worried about volatile emerging markets just when demand in Europe is starting to pick up. Renault's sales chief Jerome Stoll said at the Geneva auto show on Tuesday the group now expects global vehicle sales to rise by slightly less than the 2 percent previously forecast. "While Europe is showing some signs of recovery, we are at the same time seeing some headwinds from emerging markets," he said, citing in particular weaker than expected demand in Russia, Argentina, Turkey and Algeria. After a six-year sales slump, Europe's car market is finally showing signs of recovery as even the countries hardest hit by the euro zone debt crisis move out of recession.
Citigroup Inc. (C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) are bracing investors for a fourth straight drop in first-quarter trading, a period of the year when the largest investment banks typically earn the most from that business. Citigroup finance chief John Gerspach said yesterday his firm expects trading revenue to drop by a "high mid-teens" percentage, less than a week after JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said revenue from equities and fixed income was down about 15 percent. "It sounds like more bloodletting on Wall Street," said Jeff Davis, a managing director for the financial-institutions group at advisory firm Mercer Capital in Nashville, Tennessee. Clients are trading less as the Federal Reserve slows its monthly asset purchases and leaves bond investors preparing for rising interest rates.
JPMorgan (JPM), Citigroup (NYS:C) and four more major banks have signed up with an industry group to develop a central register of information on other banks they deal with to help to meet increasing compliance demands and costs. Senior bankers have for some time said there is potential for banks to share information on customers to help to meet increasing "know your customer" (KYC) requirements and save money by reducing duplication of information. Regulators require banks to have rigid KYC policies and are tightening compliance to bolster protection against money laundering and fraud.
Luca Maestri, Apple's vice president of finance and corporate controller, will succeed 51-year-old Oppenheimer as CFO, reporting to Chief Executive Tim Cook. Oppenheimer, who joined Apple in 1996 and has been CFO since 2004, will start handing over in June to Maestri, who joined in 2013 from Xerox Corp, where he was CFO.