Morning business round-up: HSBC earmarks more for US fines

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

HSBC bank has put aside a further $800m (£500m) to cover potential money-laundering fines in the US and has announced a fall in quarterly profits.

The bank had already put aside $700m after a US Senate report published in July said lax controls had left it vulnerable to money laundering.

Pre-tax profit for the three months to the end of September was $3.5bn, down $3.7bn from a year earlier.

However, the bank said underlying profits in the quarter had increased.

Japanese carmaker Toyota has raised its annual profit forecast as it continues to recover from the impact of last year's natural disasters.

It has predicted a net profit of 780bn yen ($9.7bn; £6bn) for the financial year to 31 March 2013, up from its earlier of forecast of 760bn yen.

The rise comes amid a sharp recovery in Toyota's sales in Japan and the US.

However, it warned that Japan's continuing territorial dispute with China may hurt its sales there.

Meanwhile, shares in Hyundai and Kia Motors have dipped as the carmakers admitted they had overstated the fuel efficiency of some of their vehicles and said they would compensate US consumers.

According to estimates, the compensation, which will cover nearly 900,000 vehicles, may cost the firms millions of dollars.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

China's services sector picked up pace in October, the latest indication that its economic growth may be rebounding.

The non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 55.5 from 53.7 in September, the statistics bureau said over the weekend.

Last week, China said its manufacturing activity had expanded for the first time in three months in October.

The figures come as China's growth pace has hit a three-year low and ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership change.

Activity in the UK service sector grew at its slowest pace in almost two years in October, a survey has suggested.

The PMI services index from Markit/CIPS fell to 50.6 from 52.2 in September. Any score above 50 indicates growth.

Growth in new business eased, while employment in the sector fell for the second consecutive month, Markit said.

French officials have cast doubt on a report likely to recommend sharp cuts in public spending before it has even been published.

The government-commissioned report into French competitiveness, due to be issued later on Monday, was written by aerospace group EADS's former chief executive Louis Gallois.

Any "shock therapy" proposals, however, have already been ruled out by the Socialist government.

The report was commissioned in July.

Finally, low-frills airline Ryanair has reported a rise in profits thanks to an increase in both passenger numbers and fares.

Net profit for the six months to the end of September was 596m euros ($765m; £477m), up 10% on the 544m euros the company made a year earlier.

Record half-year traffic numbers and an average 6% rise in fares helped boost revenue by 15% to 3.1bn euros.

The airline also raised its full-year profit forecast to 490m-520m euros, up from 400m-440m euros.

In the latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service, we ask why the Saudi's may be swapping Sharia law for English law. What does it say about your justice system if you seek set up a court in another jurisdiction - as some Middle Eastern countries are doing?

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