South Korea's Hanjin Shipping Co., which has led the country's shipping industry for the past four decades, has been declared bankrupt by a South Korean court on Friday.

Hanjin filed for court receivership under heavy debt five months ago.

Seoul Central District Court's judge Choi Ung-young said a caretaker assigned by the coourt will sell any remaining ships and other assets Hanjin still owns to pay off its creditors.

Visa Inc. lifted its financial targets for the year as its quarterly results exceeded Wall Street expectations, propelled by a higher number of transactions.

The world's biggest payments network operator has benefited from increased consumer spending in the United States as well as results from Visa Europe, which it bought last June for nearly $23 billion.

Profit soared to $2.06 billion, or 86 cents per Class A share, from $412 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier when results were hurt by charges related to the acquisition of its European operations. Net operating revenue increased 26 percent to $4.57 billion.

Operating expenses increased by 31 percent after adjustments, hugely tied to the Visa Europe acquisition that the company completed in June 2016.

Shares of Visa, which have been trading at an all-time peak, climbed by 1.2 percent to $99.37 after hours.

Visa also lifted its forecasts for full-year earnings and revenue. The San Francisco-based company said it currently expects annual adjusted earnings a share to increase nearly 20 percent, higher from an earlier expectation of growth in the mid-teen percentage digits.

Visa forecasts net revenue to increase around 20 percent in the year ending September 30, having earlier expected a 16 to 18 percent rise.

Microsoft posted a solid fourth-quarter earnings with the support of its fast-expanding cloud computing business, increasing optimism that the once-failing company has found its new momentum.

The results were the clearest indication yet that the strategy implemented by CEO Satya Nadella is beginning to deliver results. He has also changed the company's focus away from a failing personal computer software business and revamping it as a provider of cloud computing and subscription-based software.

Revenue from its cloud unit climbed by around 11 percent to $7.43 billion in the fourth quarter which ended June 30. Analysts had expected the unit, which includes its flagship brand Azure platform and server products, to record a revenue of $7.32 billion. Meanwhile, revenue in the PC division fell 2 percent.

Underlining Azure's growth were notable increases to the company's long-term unearned revenue, which climbed by more than 61 percent year-on-year.

Looking to continue this pace, last week Microsoft launched Azure stack, a new service that enables customers to launch a local version of the firm's cloud tech.

Total net income increased by more than twofold to $6.51 billion or 83 cents per share during the quarter, up from the same period last year.

Japan's export grew for the seventh month in a row in June led by increased shipments of automobiles and electronics, a signal that demand overseas continues to be the backbone of a gradual economic recovery and supports the Bank of Japan's optimistic economic outlook.

According to data from the Ministry of Finance, exports grew at an annual rate of 9.7 percent in June, against an estimated 9.5 percent increase by economists. It came after a 14.9 percent year-over-year increase in the prior month.

Japan's exports to the U.S. increased 7.1 percent in June compared to the previous year, marking the fifth month of gains. The trade imbalance with the U.S. narrowed to 587.4 billion yen as imports surged 19.3 percent in the year to June.

The data came ahead of the conclusion of BOJ's two-day rate review, at which the central bank is expected to hike its growth projections as strong exports and private consumption increase the prospects of a moderate economic recovery.

But the central bank is also expected to slash its price forecasts and withhold expanding stimulus, underlining a gap between the strong growth and soft inflation.

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Jul 24 at 2:38 UTC

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