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U.S., Japan probes UBS actions on LIBOR

Swiss bank UBS said it had received subpoenas from U.S. and Japanese regulators regarding whether it made “improper attempts” to manipulate LIBOR rates, the benchmark price for interbank borrowing costs.

“UBS understands that the investigations focus on whether there were improper attempts by UBS, either acting on its own or together with others, to manipulate LIBOR rates at certain times,” the bank said in its annual report Tuesday. Get the full story »

American-Orbitz fight leads to UBS downgrade

Shares of American Airlines parent AMR Corp. dropped more than 3 percent on Tuesday after UBS downgraded the carrier to “neutral” from “buy,” saying the company’s efforts to cut distribution costs with online travel agencies could hurt profits. Get the full story »

Beleaguered UBS tries to dress up its image

UBS is aiming to polish its tarnished image with a new dress code, as it seeks to regain the faith of retail clients after posting the biggest loss in Swiss corporate history during the financial crisis.

A 52-page internal document seen by Reuters advises customer-facing staff in five pilot scheme branches on how to make a good impression with customers by choosing flesh-colored underwear and stockings and avoiding smelly foods and tobacco. Get the full story »

E-mail leak cost UBS a slice of GM IPO, SEC told

Swiss bank UBS is no longer working on General Motors’ initial public stock offering because a bank employee leaked information about the sale in an unauthorized e-mail, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday.

GM disclosed the e-mail in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. UBS had been listed as a proposed underwriter in GM’s IPO until Nov. 3, when it was dropped without explanation. Get the full story »

Battle brewing after Starbucks burns Kraft

(Charles Osgood/Chicago Tribune)

Kraft is apparently steamed by Starbucks’ announcement that it plans to fire the company as its grocery store distributor.

On Thursday night, Kraft Foods Inc. said its agreement to supply packaged Starbucks coffee to grocery stores “is perpetual…if Starbucks decides to exit its relationship with Kraft Foods, the agreement requires Starbucks to pay Kraft Foods the fair market value of the business plus, in certain instances, a premium.”

Starbucks fired back today with a company statement saying, “We consider it unfortunate that Kraft has chosen to make public statements that we believe mischaracterize the nature of the agreement between our companies, including the term of the agreement.” The statement went on to note that the companies’ agreement contains a clause for the resolution of disputes. Both companies maintain that regardless of how their relationship is terminated, customers shouldn’t expect service interruptions.

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Gold rises after weak U.S. payrolls data

Gold rose on Friday after data showed U.S. employment fell for the first time this year in June, with bargain hunting after the previous day’s price drop also helping lend support to the market. Get the full story »