July 2, 2013 in Business

In brief: Vatican bank scandal claims director, deputy

From Wire Reports
 

ROME – The director of the embattled Vatican bank and his deputy resigned Monday, the latest heads to roll in a broadening finance scandal that has already landed one Vatican monsignor in prison and added urgency to Pope Francis’ reform efforts.

The Vatican said in a statement that Paolo Cipriani and his deputy, Massimo Tulli, stepped down “in the best interest of the institute and the Holy See.” The speed with which they resigned, however, indicated that the decision was not entirely theirs.

Cipriani, along with the bank’s then-president, was placed under investigation by Rome prosecutors in 2010 for alleged violations of Italy’s anti-money-laundering norms after financial police seized $30 million from a Vatican account at a Rome bank. Neither has been charged and the money was eventually ordered released.

But the bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, has remained under the glare of prosecutors and now Francis amid fresh concerns it has been used as an offshore tax haven. It was the latest turmoil to hit the IOR, which has long been a source of scandal for the Holy See. The resignations Monday and nominations of interim administrators represented a final overthrow of the bank’s old guard management and coincided with its efforts to comply with international norms to fight money-laundering and terrorism financing.

Disney Co. extends CEO Iger’s contract

BURBANK, Calif. – The Walt Disney Co.’s board wants Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger to stick around a bit longer.

The media conglomerate said Monday that the board extended Iger’s tenure through June 30, 2016, when his contract is due to expire.

Disney noted that the terms of Iger’s contract were not changed.

Prior arrangements had Iger, 62, remaining CEO until April 1, 2015, and then as executive chairman for another 15 months to help in the transition to Disney’s next CEO.

Iger has been CEO since September 2005, leading Disney through a major business expansion.

Apple Inc. applies for ‘iWatch’ trademark

TOKYO – Apple Inc. has applied for a trademark in Japan for “iWatch” as rumors suggest it may be developing a smart wristwatch.

A document obtained Monday from the Japan Patent Office’s website said the application was made June 3 and made public June 27.

It was not immediately clear when the application might be approved. Patent office and Apple officials in Japan were not available for comment late Monday.

Apple is rumored to be working on a smart watch that would run on a version of the operating system used by its iPhone and iPad. The company has not confirmed those rumors, but CEO Tim Cook has hinted that it may be developing a wearable computing device such as a wristwatch.

Applying for a trademark in Japan isn’t proof of Apple’s intentions. The company based in Cupertino, Calif., has many patents for devices it will never produce.

Intuit selling off maker of banking software

NEW YORK – Intuit is selling a division that provides software to financial institutions in a deal worth about $1.03 billion as it focuses on products for consumers and small businesses.

Intuit Inc., based in Mountain View, Calif., makes TurboTax, QuickBooks and other personal finance software. The company is still paring back its business. It also said Monday that it wants to sell a division that serves the health care industry.

The buyer of the financial services business, private equity firm Thoma Bravo, said Monday that it sees continued growth in mobile banking software. Intuit said it plans to use proceeds from the sale to speed up the repurchase of its stock.

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