Business briefly: No agreement found at G-20 economic meet

The world’s most important economies are going home to look after themselves. They left their summit without any meaningful agreement, finding it ever harder to cooperate and more likely to erect trade barriers to protect their own interests. The Group of 20 meeting of leading rich and developing nations ended Friday in South Korea with no solutions to longstanding tensions over trade and currency, and with the cooperation of the 2008 financial crisis now a distant memory. The U.S. couldn’t persuade other countries to pressure China to stop manipulating its currency or limit their own trade surpluses and deficits. The Americans faced charges of their own currency manipulation.

EADS posts profit as business improves

Airbus’ parent company EADS NV reported a narrow third-quarter profit Friday, rebounding from a loss a year earlier as the commercial plane-making business continued to improve in line with the global economic recovery. The European defense and aerospace company said net income rose to $21 million in the third quarter, up from a loss of $119 million in the same quarter of 2009. Revenues jumped 18 percent to $15 billion. Earnings before interest and tax, a benchmark for underlying profits, jumped 88 percent to $518 million from a year earlier. That was ahead of analysts’ expectations of around $356 million.

Intel to increase stock dividend by 15 percent

Intel, the big chip maker, said Friday that it will raise its dividend by 15 percent, providing a welcome note of optimism after network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc. helped drive stocks lower this week with a disappointing sales forecast. Both companies are bellwethers for broader technology spending and investment. Cisco provides big companies, government agencies and service providers with the equipment that routes data over the Internet. Intel is the world’s biggest maker of microprocessors — the “brains” — for personal computers. On Friday, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said the company “remains on track to have our best year ever and we continue to generate strong cash flows.” It is raising its payout to 18 cents per share from 15.75 cents starting with the first quarter of 2011.

BBB ratings unfair, Connecticut alleges

Connecticut’s attorney general is pushing the Better Business Bureau to stop what he calls a pay-to-play system that gives its members a ratings boost over nonmembers. Richard Blumenthal sent a letter Friday to the Arlington, Va.-based Council of Better Business Bureaus about its letter-grade system, a method it adopted last year in place of the previous satisfactory/unsatisfactory ratings. He said his review found that BBB members’ grades include extra points unavailable to nonmembers, a practice he called unfair to consumers who assume the companies are being judged equally.

From Herald news services