Business news highlights

Business news highlights for Tuesday, July 23, 2013.
From Wire reports Published: July 23, 2013
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China investigates bribery cases

— GlaxoSmithKline, target of a bribery probe in China, said Monday some executives may have broken the law, while rival drug maker AstraZeneca said police are investigating one of its sales representatives. GSK said its president for Asia-Pacific and emerging markets met with Chinese police officials who are investigating whether GSK employees bribed doctors and hospital administrators to prescribe its drugs.

Taco Bell drops kid meals, toys

— Taco Bell says it will stop serving kids' meals and toys, which weren't really boosting sales anyway. The chain says it will start removing the options this month at select restaurants, and that no U.S. restaurants will have them by next January. Taco Bell is owned by Yum Brands Inc. of Louisville, Ky., which also owns KFC and Pizza Hut. “Pioneering this change on our menu is a bold move for our industry, and it makes sense for Taco Bell,” CEO Greg Creed said.

U.S., UBS reach agreement

— The U.S. government has reached “an agreement in principle” to settle its lawsuit against Swiss banking giant UBS AG that seeks to recoup more than $900 million in losses from mortgage-backed securities, the bank announced Monday. In 2011, the U.S. government sued UBS and 17 other financial firms for selling some $196 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities to housing financing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However the securities turned toxic when the housing market collapsed. Among the major U.S. banks targeted by the lawsuits were Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., but the action extended to other large European banks including The Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays Bank and Credit Suisse.

From Wire Reports