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Morning business round-up: HSBC plans huge cost cuts

What made the business news in Asia and Europe this morning? Here's our daily business round-up:

Global banking giant HSBC is planning huge cost-cuts. The bank, which is the biggest in Europe, wants to save up to $3.5bn (£2bn) by cutting the scale of its wealth management and retail divisions.

HSBC is also streamlining IT operations and its operational structure, though no figures were given for the number of job cuts this could involve.

Google has revealed its advertising is being investigated by the US Justice Department.

The internet search giant added that it had put aside $500m to settle any potential charges.

The investigation is looking at how Google's automated advertising system treats some unnamed advertisers.

The world's biggest carmaker, Toyota, has reported a 77% drop in quarterly profits as a result of the disruption to output caused by the huge earthquake that hit Japan in March.

The company had been recovering from a series of product recalls last year before the quake struck. It says that by June, production should recover to 70% of the levels seen before the earthquake.

Greece remains in the news. Greece remains in the news. A one-day strike is in progress in protest against the government's austerity measures.

Most public services have been brought to a halt. A four-hour strike by air traffic controllers badly disrupted flights in a country heavily dependent on tourism.

In the UK, the governor of the Bank of England warned of a threat to inflation from fuel bills.

Publishing the Bank's latest Inflation Report, he said there remained strong downward pressures on economic growth and upward pressures on inflation, which was likely to hit 5% this year before falling back.

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And still in the UK, the country's third-biggest supermarket, Sainsbury's, said annual profits rose by 12.8%. It reported higher non-food sales and said customer numbers had reached an all-time high.

To hear about some of the wider trends in the world of business, click through to our Business Daily podcast. This edition examines the effect on Pakistan's business climate from the chill in relations with the US.

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