Convertible bonds back in fashion
Corporations seeking cheap financing are issuing convertible bonds in the US at the fastest pace since the financial crisis, with the recent rise in interest rates adding to the rush. Convertible bonds allow companies to issue debt at ultra-low yields but give investors the option to convert the securities into stock if the share price reaches a preset premium during the bond’s tenure. The pick-up comes after a multiyear slowdown in the sector that saw the bonds fall out of favour.
Snapchat valuation hits $800m
Snapchat, the photo-sharing app that has become hugely popular with teenagers over the past year, has completed a new round of funding that values the Los Angeles-based start-up at around $800m.
Qatar emir set to abdicate
Qatar’s emir will cede power to his son in a radical break with tradition in the strategically vital Gulf state. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani will pass power to the crown prince, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
£500m written off in lost tobacco tax
Failings in tackling tobacco smuggling mean that the taxman will recoup significantly less lost revenue than had been expected, Britain’s top tax collector admitted yesterday.
America joins oil price fixing inquiry
The crackdown on fixing oil prices has gone global after regulators in the United States opened an investigation.
Mediobanca warns on Italy rescue
Italy is likely to need an EU rescue within six months as the country slides into deeper economic crisis and a credit crunch spreads to large companies, a top Italian bank Mediobanca has warned privately.
Cruise industry boosts economy
The cruise industry does more than just provide rest and recreation, it also supports more than 66,000 jobs in the UK, according to researchers.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Chinese executive held captive
The co-founder of Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies, Chip Starnes, has been held since Friday in the executive quarters of his factory on the outskirts of Beijing, he said. Employees are demanding severance packages.
Warner Bros. president leaving
Jeff Robinov, the president of Warner Bros. movie unit, is leaving in January.