Morning business round-up: Barclays cuts jobs after review
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Last Updated at 17:47 ET
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UK banking group Barclays has announced the results of its strategic review, which will see 3,700 jobs being cut as it seeks to reduce costs by £1.7bn.
Of the job cuts, 1,800 will come from its corporate and investment bank, with the vast majority in Asia, and 1,900 will come from its European retail and business banking.
Barclays also reported a plunge in pre-tax profit to £246m in 2012 from £5.9bn in 2011, after setting aside compensation for mis-sold products and a loss on the value of its own debt.
On an adjusted basis, profits rose by 26% to £7.05bn, in line with analysts' expectations.
Investors signalled their approval of the review by sending shares in Barclays up 4% during morning trade.
The chief executive of Italian aerospace and defence firm Finmeccanica has been arrested on corruption charges.
Giuseppe Orsi has been under investigation for embezzlement for several months. He has always denied any wrongdoing.
Prosecutors allege he profited illegally from the sale of 12 helicopters to India.
In a statement, Finmeccanica expressed solidarity with Mr Orsi and said: "Finmeccanica confirms that management activity and the initiatives it has undertaken are continuing in an orderly fashion."
In Asia, markets gave a mixed reaction to news of the nuclear test carried out by North Korea, its third since 2006.
Analysts said the test had been widely anticipated.
South Korea's Kospi index dipped 0.3%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 index held on its earlier gains of nearly 2%
Japanese shares had risen after the yen continued to depreciate, raising hopes of a profit boost for the country's leading exporters.
Markets in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan were closed for Lunar New Year holidays.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has agreed to sell its stake in currency printing firm Securency International to UK-based Innovia Film.
Innovia, which already owns 50% of Securency, will pay A$65m ($67m; £40m) for RBA's 50% stake in the company.
The RBA had been looking to offload its stake since 2010, after allegations of bribery against the firm.
The latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service looks at a report prepared for the Group of 30 industrialised nations, which suggests that a further $7tn of investment in things such as road-building, housing and corporate research and development may be required if the world is to recover from the current financial crisis.