Asia shares find steadier footing, China worries remain
By Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian markets were finding their feet on Tuesday after a rocky ride the previous session, though uncertainty about the true state of China's economy kept nerves frayed and commodity prices restrained. Most regional shares edged ahead, with Japan's Nikkei adding 0.6 percent and the major European bourses were seen opening up around 0.2 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan put on 0.3 percent, after shedding 1.3 percent on Monday. Dealers were especially nervous about iron ore following an 8 percent slide on Monday that fuelled unease about the health of China's giant steel sector.
Tue, 11 Mar 2014 02:03:54 -0400
Lenovo says China strike an IBM matter, but it won't cut wages
Chinese PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd said it was up to IBM to resolve a wildcat strike at a China-based factory, as a deal to buy the U.S. company's server business had yet to be finalized. More than 1,000 workers went on strike last week to protest over the terms of their potential transfer to Lenovo, which said in January it would buy one of the server businesses of International Business Machine (IBM) for $2.3 billion. In a statement posted on its website late on Monday, Lenovo said the strike was an internal matter for IBM but it also pledged to maintain the salaries and benefits of all workers that chose to stay with the company after the deal is completed. More than 7,500 IBM employees in more than 60 countries were expected to transfer to Lenovo once the deal is completed, Lenovo said.
Tue, 11 Mar 2014 02:12:01 -0400
Investors closely monitoring Pimco after internal strife
By Luciana Lopez and Jennifer Ablan NEW YORK (Reuters) - Several U.S. institutional investors said they are closely monitoring the developments at Pimco, the world's largest bond firm, in the wake of Mohamed El-Erian's abrupt resignation as CEO and ensuing acrimony between him and co-founder Bill Gross. The investors, including retirement systems, have formally put Pimco on "watch lists," a signal that they will keep a much closer eye its performance than usual. "We intend to go out and meet with them over the course of the next month," said David Hunter, chief investment officer of the North Dakota State Investment Board.
Tue, 11 Mar 2014 02:05:35 -0400
White House has optimistic growth forecast for 2014, 2015
By Mark Felsenthal and Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Monday forecast more robust economic growth in 2014 than last year and a further pickup in the economy for 2015. Under a White House projection, the U.S. economy is expected to expand by 3.1 percent this year, faster than last year's 1.7 percent. Growth would pick up to 3.4 percent in 2015, the White House said. The jobless rate, which reached a high of 10 percent in 2009, fell to a five-year low of 6.6 percent in January.
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 20:23:21 -0400
Exclusive: Chobani seeks to sell stake at $2.5 billion valuation -sources
By Olivia Oran NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chobani, the Greek yogurt maker that has grown into a U.S. sensation, is looking to sell a minority stake in a deal that could value the company at around $2.5 billion, people familiar with the matter said. The company is working with Bank of America Corp as it considers selling roughly 20 percent, and is speaking to consumer companies and private equity firms to gauge their interest, the people said on Monday. Chobani, based in New Berlin, New York, previously held discussions with banks about pursuing an initial public offering, but switched gears in the face of mounting competition from other Greek yogurt companies, the people said. Representatives for Chobani did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while Bank of America declined to comment.
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 23:47:05 -0400
GM hires law firms it works with to probe recall response
The internal probe will be led by Jenner & Block Chairman Anton "Tony" Valukas, who investigated Lehman Brothers after the financial services firm collapsed in 2008, and alleged then that Lehman used accounting gimmicks and had been insolvent for weeks before it filed for bankruptcy. GM has worked with Jenner & Block since 2002, and at least two of the automaker's former top attorneys, Robert Osborne and Elmer Johnson, were partners at the Chicago law firm. GM said lawyers from King & Spalding, which represented GM during some of its bankruptcy proceedings and other litigation work since, will also work on the recall review ordered up by GM CEO Mary Barra. Co-leading the recall investigation with Valukas is GM's current general counsel, Michael Millikin.
Tue, 11 Mar 2014 00:54:21 -0400
Mt. Gox files U.S. bankruptcy, opponents call it a ruse
Mt. Gox, once the world's largest bitcoin exchange, received U.S. bankruptcy protection on Monday to temporarily halt U.S. legal action against the Japanese company by traders who allege the operation was a fraud. Judge Harlin Hale in Dallas granted temporary bankruptcy protection to Mt. Gox, which had filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan in February. Attorneys for Mt. Gox said without bankruptcy protection the company would be irreparably harmed by a proposed class action in Chicago federal court and a breach of contract case in Seattle federal court.
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 17:27:57 -0400
Hyundai Motor to launch its first battery-powered electric car in 2016
HWASEONG, GYEONGGI (Reuters) - South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co plans to launch its first battery-powered electric vehicle (EV) in 2016, as the auto maker plays catch up in a nascent market already tapped by the likes of BMW and Nissan Motor Co Ltd. "Hyundai is preparing to launch an EV in 2016," Senior Vice President Lee Ki-sang told reporters on Tuesday at the Korean launch of a battery-powered version of affiliate Kia Motors Corp's Soul compact. ...
Tue, 11 Mar 2014 01:25:23 -0400
EBay rejects Icahn board nominees, asks investors to do same
EBay Inc on Monday rejected activist investor Carl Icahn's two nominees to its board, saying both were unqualified, and urged shareholders to vote against them at its next annual meeting. Icahn, who owns just over 2 percent of the e-commerce company, has been pressuring eBay for weeks to spin off its PayPal payments business. He has also repeatedly accused eBay of poor corporate governance. The chairman of eBay's corporate governance and nominating committee, Richard Schlosberg III, said the board considered both but rejected them because "neither nominee has relevant experience or expertise." EBay said since each Icahn nominee currently sits on four public company boards, they are not in compliance with eBay's guidelines on "overboarding." EBay founder and Chairman Pierre Omidyar in a statement urged shareholders to support the company's slate, which includes Chief Executive John Donahoe.
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 19:22:45 -0400
Swatch sues Target, claims it copied watch designs
Target Corp has been sued by Swatch Group SA, which accused the second-largest U.S. discount retailer of illegally selling watches that copy its own. In a lawsuit made public on Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Swatch, which is known for its plastic namesake watches, accused Target of infringing its designs for "zebra" and "multi-color" watches. Swatch said the quality of Target's watches is "inferior" to its own, and that their continued sale is likely to confuse shoppers and damage the Swiss company's sales. It also said it advised Target of the alleged infringement, but that the Minneapolis-based company continued its sales.
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 19:47:08 -0400
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