Business News - part 43

Coca-Cola Sales Slow In China

Coca-Cola Sales Slow In China

BUSINESS

  • Chinese sales slow to 2% growth, still vital to company’s long-term growth
  • Despite slowdown in China, Coca-Cola saw growth worldwide
  • India takes China’s place as largest market for Coca Cola sales, to see $5 billion investment in next 8 years

The world's largest soft-drinks manufacturer Coca-Cola Co. is seeing sales in China, one of the world's fastest-growing consumer markets, slow in the third quarter.

Sales in China have grown by only 2% this past quarter, marking a slow down compared to 11% growth one year ago and 7% during the second quarter.

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Japanese Mobile Phone Company SoftBank To Purchase Majority Stake In Sprint Nextel For Over $20 Billion

Japanese Mobile Phone Company SoftBank To Purchase Majority Stake In Sprint Nextel For Over $20 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Entering US market offers Softbank opportunity to grow
  • Japan handset shipments down 27% over past five years
  • Sprint struggling financially since Nextel purchase; deal provides funds to pay down debt

SoftBank Corp., Japan's third-largest mobile phone carrier, is purchasing a 70% stake in leading US carrier Sprint Nextel for over $20 billion. The deal will be mutually beneficial for both companies, allowing them to better compete in the lucrative US market.

In Japan, handset shipments have fallen 27% to 38 million units over the past five years; during the same time US shipments grew, reaching 191 million units in 2011.

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IBM, AT&T Partnering To Offer Cloud Services For Fortune 1000 Companies

IBM, AT&T Partnering To Offer Cloud Services For Fortune 1000 Companies

BUSINESS

  • Service provides data access via IBM network and AT&T infrastructure; target audience is Fortune 1000 companies
  • IBM hopes to make $7 billion in cloud revenue by 2015
  • IBM also seeking to boost its presence in analytics market

International Business Machines Corp., the world’s largest computer services provider, and AT&T Inc., the largest phone carrier in the US, have entered into an agreement to deliver a secure, network-enabled cloud service.

Cloud services involve storing software and information in offsite data centers.

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Samsung Ups Smartphone Competition By Launching Galaxy S III Mini In Europe

Samsung Ups Smartphone Competition By Launching Galaxy S III Mini In Europe

BUSINESS

  • Mini Galaxy S III in direct competition with new Apple iPhone 5
  • Mini Galaxy S III features 4-inch screen, much in demand in Europe
  • Samsung to launch ATIV smartphone, ATIV tablet to compete with Nokia

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest information technology company, has launched a smaller version of the Galaxy S III in Europe to better compete with Apple Inc.

Samsung did not release specifics on where the new smartphone will be available or its price.

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Toyota Faces Largest Recall Yet With 7.4 Million Vehicles

Toyota Faces Largest Recall Yet With 7.4 Million Vehicles

BUSINESS

  • Recall questions Toyota’s ability to resolve quality and safety issues
  • Toyota sales up almost 32%, regains crown as world's top-selling automaker during first half of 2012
  • Recent recalls could have negative impact

In what is being called the largest recall in Toyota Motor Corp.’s 75-year history, the automotive giant is now recalling more than 7.4 million vehicles worldwide because of a faulty power window switch that has been deemed a potential fire hazard.

The recall is raising questions about Toyota’s ability to resolve quality and safety issues, considering recalls it experienced back in 2009 and 2010, involving over 10 million vehicles. In fact, Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda has appeared before Congress to provide an explanation for the company’s amount of recalls.

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Walmart Launches Prepaid Amex Debit Card For US Retail Customers

Walmart Launches Prepaid Amex Debit Card For US Retail Customers

BUSINESS

  • Walmart prepaid debit card lets customers pay for purchases anywhere American Express cards are accepted; withdraw money from ATMs
  • Partnership to open up new customer base for American Express
  • Market for prepaid debit cards expected to grow to $150 billion in 2012

The world’s biggest retailer Walmart Stores Inc. is offering customers a new prepaid debit card, called Bluebird, in partnership with American Express Co.

The new card will be available in 4,000 Walmart stores across the US and online this month. The card lets customers pay for purchases anywhere American Express cards are accepted and use it to withdraw money from automatic teller machines.

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$65 Billion Price Tag for Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas Megaproject

$65 Billion Price Tag for Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas Megaproject

BUSINESS

  • Scope of 10-year LNG megaproject includes storage tanks, liquefaction plant and 1,300-km pipeline
  • Sale of natural gas from North Slope could bring in up to $20 billion in annual revenue
  • Alaskan officials anticipating project will help region dominate global LNG industry

Oil & gas leaders Exxon Mobil Corp, BP Plc and ConocoPhillips along with energy leader TransCanada Corp project expenses to total between $45 billion and $65 billion for their new megaproject, which serves to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Alaska’s North Slope to international markets.

The three oil producers agreed in March to collaborate with TransCanada on this project of “unprecedented scale and challenge.” It may take more than 10 years to construct the megaproject’s storage tanks and liquefaction plant as well as the 1,300-kilometer (800-mile) pipeline from the North Slope to the southern coast of Alaska carried over from a 2010 TransCanada proposal.

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Kraft Foods Now Split Into Kraft Foods Group, Mondelez International

Kraft Foods Now Split Into Kraft Foods Group, Mondelez International

BUSINESS

  • Kraft Foods Group to focus on North America and manage Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer, Planters, Velveeta, Miracle Whip, and JELL-O brands
  • Mondelez to retain Cadbury, Jacobs, LU, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Tang and Tridentbrands
  • Kraft has work to do to generate enhanced sales in US

Kraft Foods Inc. (KRFT), a long-time worldwide leader in the food and beverage industry, has completed the previously announced spin-off of its North American grocery business, Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and is now operating as two companies – Kraft Foods Group and Mondelez International Inc., an international snacks business.

According to Kraft management, the spin-off will let the two companies develop their own culture, operating model, organizational structure and financial strategies customized to their unique businesses, markets and select opportunities.

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Mining Strikes Across South Africa Affect Production Of Metals And Minerals

Mining Strikes Across South Africa Affect Production Of Metals And Minerals

BUSINESS

  • Nearly 75,000 diamond, iron ore, gold and platinum miners on strike, production disrupted
  • Mining represents 6% of South African gross domestic product
  • Truckers strike affecting South African mining shipments

Coal mine officials in South Africa, the world’s largest coal supplier, are cautiously watching events in other sectors of the mining industry in the hopes wildcat strikes won’t spread.

Analysts say the coal sector is less likely to strike compared to gold or platinum because coal mines are located at the surface, and the work is less dangerous. They are also better paid and have better living conditions.

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US Auto Sales Reach Highest Point Since March 2008

US Auto Sales Reach Highest Point Since March 2008

BUSINESS

  • More than 1 million vehicles sold in the US in September
  • All automakers saw sales increases in the US except for Nissan
  • Consumers taking advantage of record-low interest rates

Automobile sales in the Unites States reached their highest rate this September since March 2008 as consumers took advantage of record low-interest rates to replace their aging vehicles.

Sales this past month were 12.8% higher than in September 2011. In total, slightly more than 1 million vehicles were sold, putting the industry on track to reach a target of nearly 15 million vehicles unit sales in 2012. 

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