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Layoffs Hit World's Largest Retailers

The world's largest retailer is not immune to the global recession despite a recent jump in sales.

U.S.-based Wal-Mart is laying off up to 800 employees at the company's headquarters in the southern U.S. state of Arkansas.

A Wal-Mart spokesman confirmed the job cuts, but said the retailer plans to add thousands of jobs at its stores across the country. Last week, the Wal-Mart said same-store sales jumped more than two percent in January after the chain cut prices on a range of products.

Major job cuts are also coming to two European banking giants.

Switzerland's UBS is slashing more than 2,000 jobs at its investment division and cutting executive bonuses after losing almost $17 billion in 2008.

Bank officials Tuesday blamed part of the loss on customers who withdrew about $73 billion in the 4th quarter.

Meanwhile, Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland RBS said it will eliminate 2,300 jobs.

Both UBS and RBS had to be bailed out by their respective governments.

The former top executives at RBS and fellow British bank HBOS apologized Tuesday to British lawmakers and the public for policies that almost caused both institutions to collapse.

However, they also said it was impossible to predict events that led to the financial crisis.

Earlier, U.S. Telecommunications giant Qwest Communications International said it will cut about 1,700 jobs after its 4th quarter income fell almost 50 percent.

In contrast, one of the world's top makers of computer chips is getting ready to make a major investment.

U.S.-based Intel said it will invest $7 billion in new manufacturing facilities.

Intel said the new facilities will focus on making advanced computer chips that are both faster and more energy efficient. The company said the investment will help support 7,000 jobs.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.