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In brief: Rose ends reign at Marks & Spencer

STUART Rose steps down as chairman of Marks & Spencer today, bringing his six-year tenure with the high street giant to a close.

The 61-year-old has had an eventful leadership, attracting both praise and criticism since he joined the retailer in 2004. Mr Stuart was revered for steering the firm to profits of £1bn (€1.26bn) in 2008, but was vilified for taking on the dual role of chairman and chief executive. Former City banker Robert Swannell will replace him as chairman.

Fiat may increase Chrysler stake

FIAT, the Italian carmaker that owns 20pc of Chrysler Group, may boost the holding to more than 50pc before the US automaker's initial public offering, the two companies said. Fiat received the stake as part of Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy reorganisation. It expects to get an extra 15pc when Chrysler meets sales objectives outside of North America. It has an option to increase the holding to 51pc after Chrysler repays US and Canadian government loans.

India probes Kraft's takeover of Cadbury

INDIAN officials are investigating whether Kraft Foods evaded taxes in its $19bn (€14.1bn) takeover of Cadbury last year. The finance ministry is examining Kraft's tax liabilities related to the takeover, on the heels of a public interest lawsuit filed last year in the Delhi High Court. In the suit, a lawyer based in New Delhi asserted that Kraft had "completely and illegally avoided" tax liabilities related to the sale of shares and capital assets in India.

Vizio poised to unveil smartphone

VIZIO, the second-largest US television supplier, will introduce a low-cost smartphone and tablet computer using Google's Android software to attract consumers who can't afford Apple's devices. The smartphone will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Thursday. California-based Vizio will also showcase TVs and Blu-ray players that use Google TV software. With the new products, Vizio will challenge Apple and Blackberry maker Research in Motion.

Irish Independent