Business News - part 36

Banking Industry Leader HSBC To Pay $1.92 Billion Fine In US Settlement

Banking Industry Leader HSBC To Pay $1.92 Billion Fine In US Settlement

BUSINESS

  • HSBC investigated for money laundering by US Justice Department
  • HSBC must reach specific goals to respect settlement deal 
  • Latest charges mark third time HSBC has been penalized in US

Europe’s largest bank HSBC Holdings Plc will pay a record fine of $1.92 billion to settle a probe by the US Justice Department linked to money laundering and violating sanctions laws.

HSBC is accused of handling transactions through the US to non-US banks from nations such as Mexico, Cuba, Burma, Sudan, North Korea and Iran. Bank records were also reportedly altered.

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Citigroup Cuts 11, 000 Jobs To Streamline Operations

Citigroup Cuts 11, 000 Jobs To Streamline Operations

BUSINESS

  • Citigroup to cut 4% of its global workforce
  • Cuts should save $900 million next year and up to $1.1 billion in 2014, beyond
  • Other major world banks have already laid off staff or are facing layoffs

Citigroup, the third-largest bank in the US based on assets, will cut 11,000 jobs – or roughly 4% of its current workforce – to streamline operations.

Some 6,200 job cuts will be in the consumer banking unit, and the rest of the cuts will come from the selling or downsizing of branches in Uruguay, Turkey, Romania, Paraguay and Pakistan.

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Delta Air Lines Updating Fleet With Regional Aircraft Purchase From Bombardier

Delta Air Lines Updating Fleet With Regional Aircraft Purchase From Bombardier

BUSINESS

  • Delta Air Lines to purchase up to 70 76-seat jets
  • New jets more fuel efficient than older Delta aircraft
  • Delta seeks to update current fleet, move to larger aircraft

Delta Air Lines Inc., the world’s second-largest airline, will purchase up to 70 regional jets from Canadian small-jet manufacturer Bombardier Inc. as part of Delta’s plans to update its aging fleet.

The order is for 40 CRJ900 NextGen aircraft, which have a list-price value of $1.85 billion. Delta has the option to buy 30 more, which would raise the price to $3.29 billion. However, it is common for airlines to negotiate list-price discounts.

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UK Grocer Tesco Plans to Leave Competitive US Grocery Market

UK Grocer Tesco Plans to Leave Competitive US Grocery Market

BUSINESS

  • Tesco reviewing options for its 200 Fresh & Easy grocery stores in US market
  • Fresh & Easy slow to produce profit
  • Sales at Tesco UK stores also falling

The world's third-largest retailer Tesco Plc has plans to exit the US grocery market and will instead focus on fixing struggling UK stores and emerging markets.

Tesco, the largest grocery store chain in the UK, operates in the US under the name Fresh & Easy. It operates 200 stores in California, Nevada and Arizona, employing 5,000 staff.

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Medical Device Maker Baxter International To Buy Swedish Dialysis Product Manufacturer

Medical Device Maker Baxter International To Buy Swedish Dialysis Product Manufacturer

BUSINESS

  • Baxter to pay $2.76 billion for Gambro to expand kidney equipment business
  • Purchase of Gambro AB expected to close in 2013
  • Rate of patients on dialysis growing by 5% every year

Drug and medical device maker Baxter International, which is the world’s second-largest dialysis-products manufacturer, will purchase Swedish dialysis product manufacturer Gambro AB for $2.76 billion to expand its renal-equipment business.

With debt included, the purchase is worth $4 billion. The two companies have been negotiating for about a year, and the deal is expected to close during the first half of 2013.

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Latest Apple iPhone Products Available In China Next Week

Latest Apple iPhone Products Available In China Next Week

BUSINESS

  • iPhone 5 on sale in China starting December 14; latest iPad and Wi-Fi version of iPad mini available December 7
  • China contributes $23.8 billion to Apple revenue, or 15% of total
  • Apple aims to regain market share lost to Samsung

China, the world’s most populated country, will soon be able to purchase the iPhone 5 after the nation’s Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center grants Apple a network-access license.

Regulatory approval means the iPhone 5 will be on sale in China as of December 14. Two other Apple products – the fourth-generation iPad with retina display and the Wi-Fi version of the iPad mini – will be available December 7.

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Verizon Top Major US Mobile Carrier, While AT&T Ranks Last

Verizon Top Major US Mobile Carrier, While AT&T Ranks Last

BUSINESS

  • Consumer Reports ranks major US mobile carriers in several categories
  • AT&T at bottom for all categories except 4G service
  • Smaller carriers have highest overall ranking

US product review magazine Consumer Reports has released the results of its annual report on mobile phone carriers, and for the second year in a row Verizon Wireless is at the top of the list for leading major mobile carriers, while AT&T is at the bottom.

Sprint was rated second among major carriers, while T-Mobile was third.

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BP Sells North Sea Assets To Abu Dhabi Energy Group Taqa

BP Sells North Sea Assets To Abu Dhabi Energy Group Taqa

BUSINESS

  • Sale part of BP‘s overall strategy to raise funds to cover costs related to Deepwater Horizon spill in Gulf of Mexico
  • Deal includes assets in Devenick, Harding, Maclure fields; non-operated assets in Brae, Braemar fields
  • BP to invest $10 billion in North Sea oil production over next 5 years

British energy giant BP will sell its interests in a number of central North Sea oil and gas fields to Abu Dhabi national energy company TAQA for close to $1.1 billion plus future payments of about $250 million.

The sale is part of BP‘s overall strategy to raise funds to cover expenses incurred as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Canadian Energy Leader Enbridge To Link 2 Alberta Oil Hubs

Canadian Energy Leader Enbridge To Link 2 Alberta Oil Hubs

BUSINESS

  • Enbridge to connect Edmonton and Hardisty oil hubs with $1.8 billion pipeline
  • 570,000 barrels of oil to be transported per day
  • Northern Alberta oil sands production to reach 3.1 million barrels/day in 2020

Canadian energy leader Enbridge will use its subsidiary Enbridge Pipelines to construct a new 111-mile-long pipeline worth $1.8 billion to link two Alberta oil hubs in Edmonton and Hardisty. Hardisty is where many Enbridge and competitor TransCanada’s US-bound pipelines begin. 

The pipeline is needed to accommodate rising production of oil sands, and will transport 570,000 barrels per day, with potential to increase to 800,000 barrels. Additional terminal and tank facilities are also planned.

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Mobile Device Use Ups Online Sales in the US

Mobile Device Use Ups Online Sales in the US

BUSINESS

  • US online sales to increase 17% in 2012
  • 10% of online shopping over US holiday weekend done via iPad, 8.7% by iPhone
  • Sales using mobile devices should account for 9.5% of sales by 2015

American online retailers should see their best holiday season ever, with online sales in the US expected to grow 17% this year compared to 2011.

Already holiday sales are off to a strong start: Cyber Monday sales alone should total $1.5 billion, while sales for the entire season are expected to reach $43.4 billion.

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