Finance News - part 9

ArcelorMittal Experiences a Surprise Profit Gain in the Steel Production Industry

ArcelorMittal Experiences a Surprise Profit Gain in the Steel Production Industry

FINANCE

  • First quarter profit for ArcelorMittal is at $2.58 billion
  • Demand from auto industry despite higher prices for ore may account for rise in profit
  • Raw material prices are anticipated to increase due to growing demand

Steel giant ArcelorMittal experienced a first quarter profit, prompting the company to shore up its iron-ore and coal mines. Earnings were reported as $2.58 billion.

The company's earnings surpassed analyst estimates that the company would reach an average of $2.39 billion, Bloomberg reports. The rise in earnings has been attributed to demand from the automotive industry.

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BP-Rosneft Oil Agreement Fails

BP-Rosneft Oil Agreement Fails

FINANCE

  • BP unable to reach agreement with AAR and Rosneft to gain access to oil reserves in Russia
  • Deal involves Rosneft taking 5% of shares from BP, with BP getting 9.5% of shares from Rosneft
  • AAR half owner of joint venture TNK-BP in Russia; says agreement breaks exclusivity contract

Oil Giant BP is trying to come to an agreement with its Russian partner Alfa Access Renova (AAR) and Rosneft over a deal to exchange shares. Although the deadline expired on May 16, 2011, BP is still trying to set the deal in motion, which would allow the British oil leader to tap into lucrative oil reserves in Russia.

AAR, however, has an existing contract stating its exclusivity with BP, and took its complaints to court in February of this year – and won. AAR recognizes the benefits of the current deal and wishes to continue talks as long as the existing agreement is not broken.

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Investment May Boost Ore Industry in Newfoundland and Labrador

Investment May Boost Ore Industry in Newfoundland and Labrador

FINANCE

  • More than $1 million invested in ore
  • Investment in microscope will enhance ore analysis
  • Mineral industry has predicted $4.7 billion shipment value for 2011

The Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland Labrador and the Iron Ore Company of Canada have invested more than $1 million in ore.

The investment has allowed Memorial University of Newfoundland to acquire a Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope, which will enable researchers to identify minerals, and enhance them after the minerals have been mined.

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Teva Targets Japanese Generics Market with Taiyo Bid

Teva Targets Japanese Generics Market with Taiyo Bid

FINANCE

  • Teva buys 57% share in Taiyo for $460 million; will make offer for remaining stake
  • Taiyo one of Japan’s biggest generic drug makers, with 2010 sales topping $530 million
  • Japan the world’s second-biggest drug market, totaling $96 billion in 2010

Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries has agreed to buy a 57% stake in Japanese drug maker Taiyo for $460 million, and will also put in an offer for the outstanding shares, which would bring the total value of the deal to around $1.3 billion.

Teva is the world’s biggest generic drug maker and aims to become a major player in the Japanese drug market. Japan is the world’s second-biggest pharmaceutical market, with a total value of $96 billion in 2010.

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Foreign Bank Mutual Funds Are No Match for China's Big Four

Foreign Bank Mutual Funds Are No Match for China's Big Four

FINANCE

  • Chinese government opens mutual fund and custodian business to foreign competition
  • Two-thirds of mutual fund sales in China come from major local banks: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, the Agricultural Bank of China and the Bank of China
  • Foreign firms not expecting to make a big dent, but looking to profit from predicted industry jump of 150% by 2015

The Chinese government's announcement that it will allow foreign bank mutual funds and custodian businesses is meant to increase competition and options for Chinese consumers. Over 30 foreign firms have prepared to launch mutual funds in China, including Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, JP Morgan and HSBC.

Despite China's latest announcement, there are still some barriers that foreign banks need to overcome. For instance, China will allow foreign banks that are incorporated in China to sell mutual funds but no time-line has been specified.

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Citic Agrees to Buy Gold One for $469 Million

Citic Agrees to Buy Gold One for $469 Million

FINANCE

  • Citic Group acquires Gold On, with plans to take over up to 75% of company
  • Acquisition will allow Citic Group to gain ground in South Africa
  • Gold One shares soar

Citic Group will acquire Gold One International ltd. for about $470 million, according to Bloomberg. This acquisition will allow the company to gain stakes in South Africa.

Shares for Gold One are up to 55 cents, an increase of 28% over the share's prices on May 12. The price was a recommendation from Gold One's Board. So far, Long March Capital Group and China Development Bank are both attempting to acquire shares in the company. The company would then trade in Australia and South Africa.

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Irish Drug Maker Elan Sells EDT Unit To Alkermes

Irish Drug Maker Elan Sells EDT Unit To Alkermes

FINANCE

  • Elan sells Elan Drug Technologies to Alkermes for $960 million
  • Elan will retain 25% stake in the new holding company, which is expected to generate over $450 million in yearly revenue
  • Deal will allow Elan to advance strategic objectives and reduce debt

Irish pharmaceutical company Elan Corp has reached an agreement for the sale of its Elan Drug Technologies (EDT) arm to US drug company Alkermes in a deal worth around $960 million.

Elan will merge its drug technologies unit with the US group to form a new holding company based in Ireland. Elan will hold a 25% stake in the new segment, which will concentrate on neurological treatments.

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Pertamina, CNOOC Agreement Dissolved for Angola Project

Pertamina, CNOOC Agreement Dissolved for Angola Project

FINANCE

  • Pertamina and CNOOC end agreement to jointly buy shares in Exxon Mobil's in Angola Project
  • Pertamina planned to buy 80%, allowing 10% for CNOOC
  • Angola is second after Nigeria in leadership for African oil production

Two state-run oil companies, Pertamina of Indonesia and CNOOC of China, have decided to end an agreement to bid for stock in Exxon Mobil Corp. The companies had planned to bid on $3.5 billion worth of stock in an Angolan petroleum project.

Once Pertamina revealed plans to buy 80% worth of the venture, leaving CNOOC only 10%. This caused CNOOC to back out, as it had planned to acquire 25% of the stock.

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Oil Giants BP & DSM Invest in Verdezyne Biofuel

Oil Giants BP & DSM Invest in Verdezyne Biofuel

FINANCE

  • BP and Dutch biochemical DSM team up with Verdezyne to develop biofuels
  • Investment is latest in growing number of partnerships between oil and chemical giants and smaller biofuel companies
  • BP paid $98 million for biochemical startup Verenium at start of 2011

Oil giant BP and Dutch biochemical DSM have backed renewable fuel company Verdezyne, in a move to step up their green energy efforts. BP and DSM agreed to invest an undisclosed amount in the startup company, which will fund operations over the next two years and provide for the construction of two chemical plants where ethanol and adipic acid will be produced.

Based in California, Verdezyne engineers yeast that feeds on sugars like glucose and ribose and then excretes biofuels. The company boasts very economical methods of producing ethanol and adipic acids, but needs help in developing more efficient ways of breaking down materials to produce the sugars it requires.

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AOL Profits Plummet as Display Ad Figures Rise

AOL Profits Plummet as Display Ad Figures Rise

FINANCE

  • AOL profits fall 86% for Q1 2011; revenue down 17% to $552 million
  • Display ad revenues rise 4% to $130.5 million
  • Acquisition of The Huffington Post, GoViral and TechCrunch could help improve finances

Internet company AOL saw profits dive 86% in the first quarter of 2011, but reported strong revenue figures from advertising.

Total income dropped to $4.7 million for the quarter, with revenue falling 17% to almost $552 million. Last year in the same period, it posted profits of $78 million.

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