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Japan bank fined

in laundering case

Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi-UFJ will pay $250 million to the state of New York for laundering billions of dollars in transactions that violated sanctions against countries, including Iran. State regulators said the bank agreed to the fine for handling transactions totaling $100 billion through its New York operation between 2002 and 2007.

Oracle 4Q revenue

spooks investors

Oracle earned $3.8 billion, or 80 cents per share, in its fourth quarter. That represents a 10 percent increase from $3.5 billion, or 69 cents per share, at the same time last year. Revenue remained unchanged, suggesting that Oracle is having trouble closing enough software deals to please Wall Street. The stock fell nearly 3 percent Thursday.

Strong 1Q moves

Kroger outlook up

Kroger raised its outlook after reporting a first-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations. The grocery company, which operates Smith's Food and Drug in Utah, earned $481 million, or 92 cents per share. That's compared with $439 million, or 78 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 3 percent, to $30.04 billion.

Requests for

jobless aid rise

U.S. unemployment benefit applications rose by 18,000 last week, to a seasonally adjusted 354,000. Despite the gain, the level remains consistent with moderate job growth. The less-volatile four-week average increased by 2,500, to 348,250, the Labor Department said Thursday. Applications have fallen 6 percent since January.

Madoff victims

can't sue big banks

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked a trustee's efforts to recover money from major financial institutions for victims of Bernard Madoff's mammoth fraud. Trustee Irving Picard had alleged that banks earned hundreds of millions of dollars in fees to process Madoff's investor money while ignoring warning signs of fraud.

Kodak gets up to

$895M in financing

Kodak has secured as much as $895 million to fund its operations after it emerges from bankruptcy protection. J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Barclays will supply loans of up to $695 million. The banks also will arrange a credit facility of up to $200 million. They've agreed to provide $130 million of that facility.

Google faces

privacy fines

France is giving Google three months to be more upfront about the data it collects from users — or be fined. Five other European countries are taking similar steps. Now it's up to Google to decide whether the relatively small fines are enough of an incentive to rethink its privacy rules. Europe's a big market, but one where Google has no serious competition. However, the company does have a reputation problem when it comes to protecting user privacy.

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