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AP Business NewsBrief at 3:20 a.m. EST
[November 05, 2012]

AP Business NewsBrief at 3:20 a.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Toyota quarterly profit triples, raises forecastTOKYO (AP) _ Toyota's quarterly profit tripled, driven by a recovery from natural disasters, and the company raised its full-year earnings forecast Monday despite a sales slump in China. Toyota Motor Corp., on track to regain the crown of world's No. 1 automaker this year, reported a July-September net profit of 257.9 billion yen ($3.2 billion) compared with an 80.4 billion profit a year earlier. The result was better than the 238 billion yen ($3 billion) quarterly profit forecast by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

G-20 officials meet to discuss debt in Europe, USMEXICO CITY (AP) _ Finance ministers and central bank governors from the world's leading economies met in Mexico on Sunday amid growing fears over the global impact of Europe's debt crisis and the stalemate over a fiscal plan in the United States. The two-day meeting of G-20 financial officials in Mexico City, coming just ahead of U.S. elections and shortly after the annual IMF and World Bank meeting in Tokyo, lacked key players such as U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Brazilian finance chief Guido Mantega.

Greece bracing for 2 decisive votes this weekATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Greece's coalition government is facing two crucial votes this week in its effort to secure a portion of a bailout loan by creditors that will stave off threatened bankruptcy. Along with the inevitable strikes that are expected at least through Thursday, and possibly throughout the week, the coalition has to rein in its own fractious MPs, with the smaller partner saying it will vote against the bill and the other two parties facing possible dissent within their ranks.

Post-storm construction hiring may aid US economyHiring in the long-depressed U.S. construction industry will get a boost from the rebuilding that will follow Superstorm Sandy. Those jobs, in turn, could raise economic growth, analysts say. The modest lift to the economy is expected to come in the first months of 2013. Construction firms, contractors and local governments will hire to rebuild or renovate homes, buildings, roads and bridges that were damaged or destroyed.

China's next leaders might curb Macau's fortunesMACAU (AP) _ Hordes of Chinese high rollers flooding into Macau have turned the city into an Asian casino boomtown but they're also posing a challenge for China's next generation of leaders. Macau's casino industry has mushroomed over the past decade after its government eased restrictions, drawing a flood of mainland Chinese visitors that have helped supercharge the economy, created tens of thousands of well-paying jobs and made vast fortunes for a few U.S. gambling kingpins. But a looming leadership change in China is making some wonder whether blistering growth in the tiny enclave will remain a sure bet.

Asia stocks fall ahead of tight US electionBANGKOK (AP) _ Asian stock markets fell Monday as a looming leadership change in China and uncertainty about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election reduced appetite for riskier investments. The race between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney is virtually tied one day ahead of the election, generating an atmosphere of uncertainty that markets normally dislike.

Apple paid only 1.9 pct tax on earnings outside USApple Inc. paid an income tax rate of only 1.9 percent on its earnings outside the U.S. in its latest fiscal year, a regulatory filing by the company shows. The world's most valuable company paid $713 million in tax on foreign earnings of $36.8 billion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 29, according to the financial statement filed on Oct. 31. The foreign earnings were up 53 percent from fiscal 2011, when Apple earned $24 billion outside the U.S. and paid income tax of 2.5 percent on it.

Post-Sandy, manic Monday looms for commutersNEW YORK (AP) _ It could be a manic Monday for commuters starting the first work week since Superstorm Sandy hit the New York City region. New York officials say the city subway system is on the mend. But they also warn a flood of students returning to reopened schools and motorists forced out of their cars by a fuel shortage could cause crowding and delays.

NBC sites hacked by 'pyknic'; quickly restoredWASHINGTON (AP) _ Several NBC websites were hacked on Sunday by a person or group calling itself "pyknic" and suggesting a possible link to the cyber-attack group Anonymous. It appeared that the "defacement" of the affected sub-sites was cleaned up in a couple hours. NBC and its various websites appeared to be functioning normally as of Sunday evening Eastern time. However, older versions maintained by search engines such as Google and Bing still bore the message "hacked by pyknic" _ a possible reference to an obscure hacker or "hacktivist" group.

Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone sales pass 30 mlnSEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Samsung said Monday it has sold more than 30 million flagship Galaxy S III smartphones in about five months, making it one of the fastest selling smartphones in the world. Samsung Electronics Co., the world's biggest mobile phone maker, launched the smartphone at the end of May, months before competitors began shipping the latest versions of their top phones.

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