Hypo launches “bad bank”
Nationalised German property lender Hypo Real Estate plans to shift about €210bn in assets to a “bad bank" in the second half of 2010, its operating unit said yesterday. "The HRE Group intends to transfer operations no longer strategically required for the group's realignment, as well as additional balance sheet items, to this deconsolidated environment," Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG, the operating unit that emerged from Hypo Real Estate, said in a statement.
Legoland to open in Florida
Merlin Entertainments, which is expected to list on the London stock market soon, is to open a Legoland theme park in Florida at the end of next year. It will be its second Legoland in North America, after Legoland California, and its biggest theme park to date with more than 50 rides and other attractions. Merlin, which also owns Madame Tussauds and the London Eye, has bought Cypress Gardens, a 145-acre site, near Orlando.
Nokia announces GPS service
Shares in satellite navigation firms fell sharply yesterday as Nokia announced a free mapping service for all its GPS-enabled phones. The Ovi Maps software will offer walking and driving directions for 74 countries with vocal prompts in 46 languages, in direct competition with in-car devices. Ovi Maps is also set to challenge Google’s mapping services, including the free turn-by-turn navigation offered to US users of Google Android.