Business News - part 36

Google Rumored To Be Developing New Videogame Console, Smartwatch

Google Rumored To Be Developing New Videogame Console, Smartwatch

BUSINESS

  • Google said to launch Android-run videogame, smartwatch connected to smartphones using Bluetooth
  • Google also planning to release new version of media-streaming device Nexus Q
  • Google aims to better compete against Apple products

Search giant Google is said to be developing an Android-run videogame console and other devices in an effort to compete against rival Apple, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The report says the console and a smartwatch are in the design stage, and could be available for sale later this year.

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US Automotive Manufacturers See Higher Than Expected June Sales

US Automotive Manufacturers See Higher Than Expected June Sales

BUSINESS

  • US automotive sales for June 2013 hit 16 million units, compared to 14.4 million in June 2012; surge marks best monthly pace since November 2007
  • Ford sales up nearly 14%, General Motors up 6.5% and Chrysler up 8%
  • Demand for large pickup trucks growing fast

US automakers Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. posted higher than expected sales in June, recording 16 million units sold compared to 14.4 million in June 2012. According to research from Autodata Corp., this marks the best monthly pace since November 2007.

The rise is attributed in part to higher consumer confidence, which has been boosted by an improving employment picture, a rising stock market, stable gasoline prices and low interest rates. According to Bankrate.com, the average interest rate for a four-year new-car loan is 2.7%.

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Japanese Bank Mitsubishi UFJ To Buy $5.6 Billion Majority Stake in Thai Bank

Japanese Bank Mitsubishi UFJ To Buy $5.6 Billion Majority Stake in Thai Bank

BUSINESS

  • Mitsubishi UFJ to buy 75% stake in Thailand's fifth-largest lender Bank of Ayudhya
  • Deal largest in Thailand's banking history
  • Japanese taking advantage of growing economy in Thailand

Japan’s biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group plans to purchase a majority stake in Thailand's fifth-largest lender Bank of Ayudhya Pcl for $5.6 billion, giving the bank access to Asia’s second-largest economy.

Mitsubishi UFJ will purchase a 75% stake in a tender offer, and the offer will take place from early November to December. Major shareholder, the Ratanarak Group from Thailand, will retain a 25% stake. Meanwhile, GE Capital will raise $2.41 billion selling its over 25% stake. In September, it sold a 7.6% stake for $466 million.

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Japanese Mobile Operator SoftBank Buys 78% of Sprint Nextel

Japanese Mobile Operator SoftBank Buys 78% of Sprint Nextel

BUSINESS

  • SoftBank's takeover bid for Sprint worth $21.6 billion approved
  • SoftBank secures a 78% stake in Sprint; to become one of the world’s largest mobile carriers
  • Dish Network forced to abandon its bid

Sprint Nextel Corp. shareholders have approved a $21.6 billion takeover bid by Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank Corp, which will now secure a 78% stake in Sprint.

Sprint is the third-largest mobile phone carrier in the United States, and by adding Sprint to its portfolio, SoftBank will be one step closer in completing Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son’s goal of turning the company into the world’s largest carrier.

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Delta Air Lines Receives Clearance in Virgin Atlantic Airways Acquisition

Delta Air Lines Receives Clearance in Virgin Atlantic Airways Acquisition

BUSINESS

  • Delta Air Lines buys 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways
  • Merger includes coverage for 100 routes plus connections to 66 destinations in North America, UK
  • Benefits of joint venture include a loyalty program partnership and membership access enhancements

Major US airline Delta Air Lines recently announced that after newly acquiring a 49% stake in UK-based Virgin Atlantic Airways, the two airlines are working on a robust codeshare agreement as well as a frequent flyer partnership.

The merger between the two airline industry players will cover more than 100 routes and offer connections to 66 destinations across North American and the UK.  

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Telecommunications Giant Vodafone Buys German Cable Operator For $10 Billion

Telecommunications Giant Vodafone Buys German Cable Operator For $10 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Deal gives Vodafone access to 8.5 million households in Germany
  • European customers favor quad-play services
  • Kabel Deutschland latest in a string of acquisitions by Vodafone

British telecommunications company Vodafone Group Plc, the world's second-largest mobile operator, has agreed to purchase Kabel Deutschland Holding AG, Germany’s largest cable company, for over $10 billion to defend itself against competition by adding additional services.

Once the deal is finalized, Vodafone will have access to 8.5 million current and potential German customers for quad-play services, which are packages of mobile, land-line phone service, broadband internet and TV subscriptions.

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Cisco Systems Acquires Data Virtualization Services Specialist Composite Software

Cisco Systems Acquires Data Virtualization Services Specialist Composite Software

BUSINESS

  • Cisco Systems to acquire Composite Software for $180 million
  • Deal allows Cisco to gain products that help companies view data from diverse sources across the network in one virtual warehouse
  • Composite Software purchase in line with data centre trend from physical to virtual, as well as Cisco’s plans to expand its software services

In a bid to expand beyond its network gear sales, Cisco Systems will acquire California-based data virtualization services and software vendor Composite Software for $180 million.

With this deal, expected to close within the first fiscal year quarter of 2014, Cisco will gain products that help companies view data from diverse sources across the network – including cloud environments and big data – in one virtual warehouse.

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General Motors Breaks Ground On New Cadillac Plant In China

General Motors Breaks Ground On New Cadillac Plant In China

BUSINESS

General Motors Co. (GM) reinforced its pledge to China at its recent groundbreaking for a new Cadillac factory in Shanghai as it aims to target luxury car buyers.

In a market chiefly dominated by such brands as Audi and BMW, GM has made it a priority to increase Cadillac sales in China.

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Russia's Rosneft Signs $270-Billion Deal To Double Oil Flow To China

Russia's Rosneft Signs $270-Billion Deal To Double Oil Flow To China

BUSINESS

  • Rosneft shifts from supplying Europe to supplying Asia with oil
  • CNPC buys 20% stake in OAO Novatek’s Yamal liquefied natural gas project
  • Deal allows Rosneft to cut debt and develop Arctic oil fields

Russia’s OAO Rosneft, the world's largest publicly listed oil firm, has signed a $270 billion deal with China National Petroleum Corp. to double the amount of oil to be shipped to China over the next 25 years as the company shifts from supplying Europe to supplying Asia.

Under the agreement, Rosneft will supply 300,000 barrels per day starting in the second half of the decade, which is in addition to the 300,000 bpd it already supplies. 

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Network Equipment Giant Alcatel-Lucent To Sell Assets, Cut Costs

Network Equipment Giant Alcatel-Lucent To Sell Assets, Cut Costs

BUSINESS

  • Alcatel-Lucent to sell $1.3 billion in company assets, cut $1.3 billion in costs
  • Alcatel-Lucent struggling since 2006 merger of Alcatel SA and Lucent
  • Restructuring plan aims to increase IP networking division operating margins from 2.4% to 12.5% by 2015

French network-equipment vendor Alcatel-Lucent Chief Executive Officer Chief Michel Combes plans to sell $1.3 billion in company assets and cut another $1.3 billion in costs in an effort to save the struggling company.

An additional $1.3 billion will be saved by debt refinancing.

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