Top Headlines - part 65

Brazil Wants $11 Billion From Chevron, Transocean For Oil Spill

Brazil Wants $11 Billion From Chevron, Transocean For Oil Spill

WORLD

  • 3,000 barrels of oil leak into Compos Basin over 8 days in November
  • Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency fines Chevron $28 million after oil spill
  • Chevron announces gas find off west coast of Australia

Brazilian prosecutors are suing oil company Chevron and oil rig operator Transocean to the tune of almost $11 billion. The suit aims to suspend both company’s operations after an eight-day oil spill near Rio de Janeiro in November leaked 3,000 barrels of oil into the Compos Basin.

The suit threatens to thwart the country’s plan to double its crude oil output over the next decade. Brazil relies on Transocean, which operates more than 15% of its oilrigs. Chevron, the second-biggest oil company in the US and third in Brazil after Petroleo Brasileiro and Royal Dutch Shell, fell 3% to just over $100.50 in New York following news of the case. Transocean fell almost 4% to just over $40.

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Financial Filing Lets Olympus Avoid Removal From Tokyo Stock Exchange

Financial Filing Lets Olympus Avoid Removal From Tokyo Stock Exchange

FINANCE

  • Olympus files 5 years of revised financial statements to avoid automatic removal from Tokyo Stock Exchange
  • Olympus being investigated for possibly hiding $1.5 billion over past 13 years
  • Future of Olympus unclear as it may need to sell assets or form merger to raise capital

Olympus Corp. filed five years of revised financial statements yesterday with Japan’s Financial Services Agency and avoided automatic removal from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In its statement, Olympus needed to prove its financial problems are limited to senior management and that there were no more revisions after losing $1.3 billion in net assets.

Olympus may had avoided removal from the stock exchange, but it is not in the clear. The 92-year-old optics company is being investigated by law enforcement officials in Japan for hiding $1.5 billion over the past 13 years. Officials from the United States and the United Kingdom are also conducting their own investigations.

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Eurozone Debt Crisis: Credit Agricole to Cut 2,350 jobs

Eurozone Debt Crisis: Credit Agricole to Cut 2,350 jobs

ECONOMY

  • Credit Agricole stocks fall 52% in 2011, third-quarter profit down 65%
  • Global banking sector sheds 120,000 jobs in 2011
  • Moody’s downgrades top three French banks

France’s third-biggest bank Credit Agricole has announced plans to let 2,350 of its employees go, mostly from its investment-banking sector, in an effort to cut costs in the face of the Eurozone debt crisis.

Among the cuts are 600 jobs in Credit Agricole’s factoring and consumer finance branch and 1,750 jobs at its corporate and investment bank, which has a staff of 13,000 total. Among the 1,750 corporate and investment positions to be axed, 500 will be cut in France.

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Southwest Files Record $19 Billion Order with Boeing For 737s

Southwest Files Record $19 Billion Order with Boeing For 737s

BUSINESS

  • Southwest orders 208 Boeing 737s including 150 fuel-efficient 737 MAX jets
  • First order for 737 MAX
  • 737 MAX catalog prices announced at $95.2 million to $101.7 million

Southwest Airlines has finalized a $19 billion deal for 208 Boeing 737 jets, the biggest aircraft order in history. The deal includes 150 narrow-body 737 MAX aircraft, representing Boeing’s first order for its latest fuel-efficient jets, which cost up to around $102 million depending on the version according to company catalog prices.

Southwest took an option to buy an additional 150 737 MAX models, though didn’t specify which version of the jet it would order. The Dallas, Texas-based airline also ordered 58 Next-Generation 737 jets.

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Nuclear Backlash: Areva Cuts 1,500 Jobs In Germany

Nuclear Backlash: Areva Cuts 1,500 Jobs In Germany

BUSINESS

  • Areva to cut jobs in Germany following German government decision to phase out nuclear power
  • Areva releases 5-year plan that cancels programs and makes €1 billion in budget cuts
  • Areva’s losses for 2011 are expected to total around €1.6 billion

The French state-controlled nuclear company Areva SA announced Dec. 13 it will be cutting up to 1,500 jobs in Germany. The decision comes after the German government’s decision to phase out the use of nuclear power in the country by 2022.

Germany accounts for 6% of Areva’s business.

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US, China and India Onboard With Updated Kyoto Protocol

US, China and India Onboard With Updated Kyoto Protocol

BUSINESS

  • World economies to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 2015
  • Environmentalists and representatives feel timeframe for treaty needs to be shorter
  • Canada first nation to withdraw from Kyoto Protocol

 

At the recent United Nations-sponsored global warming meeting in Durban, South Africa, major economies agreed to a new emissions treaty by 2015. Three of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases - the US, China and India – have also pledged to join the pact, despite past opposition.

The new treaty is based off the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement started in 1997 aimed at fighting global warming, but introduces approved amendments to the original plan. As part of the agreement that was set to expire in 2012, industrial nations committed to taking voluntary, but non-binding, steps to reduce their carbon emissions.

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Can Putin Reinvent Himself To Win Russian Presidential Election?

Can Putin Reinvent Himself To Win Russian Presidential Election?

WORLD

  • Controversial results of Russia’s December 4 parliamentary election put Prime Minister Vladmir Putin’s United Russia Party slightly lead with 53% of vote
  • Russian authorities allowed a massive protest on Dec 10
  • Putin must reinvent himself to rise above presidential opponents, including most recent candidate billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov

The results of Russia’s December 4 parliamentary election, putting Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party slightly in the lead, sparked much controversy and protest.

Technically winning only 49% of votes – down from 64% four years ago, the United Russia Party was nonetheless given 53% of the vote after redistribution from the three election parties did not satisfy the 5% threshold.

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Patents Dispute Between Apple, Samsung No Nearer To Resolution

Patents Dispute Between Apple, Samsung No Nearer To Resolution

BUSINESS

  • Australian court lifts ban on sales of Samsung Galaxy
  • French court rejects bid to prevent sales of iPhone 4S
  • $5 billion business relationship between firms at risk

The complex patents battle between Samsung Electronics Co and Apple Inc is showing no signs of coming to an end.

In recent news, an Australian court lifted the ban on Samsung selling its Galaxy tablet computer in Australia, just in time for Christmas. The ruling came just one day after a Paris court rejected Samsung's attempt to prevent Apple's iPhone 4S from being sold in France.

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IBM Boosts Cloud Analytics with DemandTec Acquisition

IBM Boosts Cloud Analytics with DemandTec Acquisition

BUSINESS

  • IBM to takeove DemandTecfor $440 million
  • IBM’s will expand its Smarter Commerce initiative with DemandTec price and promotion analytics software
  • IBM announced last year a $20 billion budget for mergers and acquisitions through 2015

IBM Corp has validated a definitive plan for a $440 million takeover of DemandTec Inc, which will add online trend-based business tools to its services. The two companies agreed a cash buyout price of $13.20 per share, which is about 57% higher than California-based DemandTec’s closing price the day before the announcement.

The deal is expected to be concluded in the first quarter of 2012.

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Brazil Budget Airline Gol Gets $100 Million Investment Boost from Delta

Brazil Budget Airline Gol Gets $100 Million Investment Boost from Delta

FINANCE

  • Delta to take 3% stake in Gol along with board seat
  • Gol capital boosted by 280 million reais ($160 million)
  • Gol announced 844 million reais ($482 million) net loss in October

Delta Air Lines will invest $100 million in Brazilian budget airline Gol Linhas Aereas to give the company a financial boost against its Latin American rivals. The carriers agreed to a deal in which Delta will buy Gol’s American depository receipts and acquire shares for 22 reais each, equivalent to 47% more than the closing price of shares early last week.

This will boost Gol’s capital by up to 280 million reais, or $160 million.

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