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Business Highlights

The bank is transforming itself to adapt to a post-financial crisis world. Like other investment banks, Morgan Stanley has traditionally focused on doing business with companies, governments and other big organizations. But the bank is adapting its strategy ahead of new regulations, which are eliminating some of the practices that the bank used to rely on for revenue, such as trading for its own profit.

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Toyota settlement may signal future legal strategy

LOS ANGELES (AP) â¿¿ Legal observers say recent settlements by Toyota Motor Corp. may signal the Japanese automaker would rather fight its battles behind closed doors instead of in a courtroom.

The company has been chipping away at settling lawsuits over sudden-acceleration issues. It has agreed to pay more than $1 billion to resolve economic loss and some wrongful-death claims.

But the question remains whether attorneys who sued Toyota could prove to a jury there was a design flaw responsible for the dangerous problem.

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Venture investments declined in 2012

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ A new study shows that funding for business startups declined in 2012, for the first time in three years, as venture capitalists spent less money on fewer deals.

Capital-intense sectors like clean technology and life sciences were among the hardest hit, according to a MoneyTree study released Friday. It was conducted by PriceWaterHouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data from Thomson Reuters.

In all of 2012 startup investments fell 10 percent to $26.52 billion from $29.46 billion. There were 3,698 deals completed, down 6 percent from 3,937 in 2011. Venture investments also declined 13 percent in the final quarter of the year, to $6.4 billion from $7.38 billion a year earlier, though the number of deals was the same in both quarters at 968.

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Algeria: 12 hostages have died in the siege

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