BOND SURGE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC AS COMPANIES VIE FOR FUNDS
Companies have embarked on an early-year rush to issue debt in an effort to beat rivals and secure financing before any rise in borrowing costs.The surge in bond issuance on both sides of the Atlantic on Tuesday came as equity markets rallied on better growth prospects for the US economy and corporate earnings. Almost $12bn of bonds were sold by the end of the European day, according to Dealogic, with billions more due to price in the New York afternoon.
ITV AND BSKYB CAME CLOSE TO MERGING NEWS
British Sky Broadcasting and ITV discussed merging their news operations in 2006, according to people involved in the talks. The talks, which involved Dawn Airey, then controller of Sky Television, and the chief executives of ITV and ITN, its news supplier, reached an advanced stage and identified major savings for both broadcasters before they were dropped because BSkyB bought a £940m stake in ITV.
SONY MUSIC CLOUD RISES OVER RIVALS
Sony is set to steal a march on rivals Spotify and Apple by becoming the first company to launch a cloud-based music streaming service in the highly lucrative US market.
PETROBRAS IN TALKS OVER ENI’S GALP STAKE
Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company, said yesterday that it was in talks with Eni, the Italian energy group, to acquire its 33 per cent stake in Galp, the Portuguese oil company. It followed press reports in Portugal that Petrobras was ready to pay €3.5bn (£3bn) for the stake, less than the asking price of €4.7bn.
TESCO DISMISSES FRAUD LINK TO CASH FOR GOLD DIRECTOR
The man running Tesco’s new cash-for-gold service was a boss of a fraudulent college that swindled nearly 80,000 students. Peter Kenyon, chief executive of Ramsdens Financial Services, was a director of National Distance Learning College. His business partner, Michael Smallman, is serving a seven-year sentence for fraudulent trading and money laundering after he was convicted in 2008 of tricking students into believing they would receive a recognised qualification. Mr Kenyon was cleared of any wrongdoing and there is no suggestion that he acted improperly.
THE TRAIN NOW LEAVING IS THE PENSION EXPRESS
Britain’s train barons are steaming towards retirement with multimillion-pound fortunes.
The Daily Telegraph
MICROSOFT’S INTERNET EXPLORER LOSES TOP SPOT TO FIREFOX
Mozilla’s Firefox has replaced Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as the most widely-used web browser in Europe. Internet Explorer appears to have been dethroned because Google’s Chrome is stealing share while Firefox is mainly maintaining its existing share. The search engine took a 38.1 per cent market share across the continent in December, surpassing Internet Explorer’s 37.5 per cent.
US MARKET WILL RALLY FOR THIRD YEAR, BLACKROCK PREDICTS
Blackrock, the world’s biggest asset management firm, has predicted that US stock markets will record their third straight year of gains since the financial crisis, brushing off anxieties about Europe’s debt woes and the scale of stimulus in the US.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
COURT CHANGES LAW ON PATENT DAMAGES
A federal appeals court Tuesday restored a jury verdict that Microsoft Corp. infringed a patent related to combating software piracy, but ruled that the software giant was entitled to a new trial on damages. Though Microsoft lost on the patent at issue in the case, it may have won a larger legal battle because the court's ruling could be used to limit the size of monetary damages in patent-infringement cases.
INSURERS SUE TOYOTA OVER ACCELERATION CLAIMS COSTS
Seven insurance companies have filed lawsuits against Toyota seeking a minimum of $230,000 to cover the cost of claims paid for accidents related to the unintended acceleration problems identified in Toyota vehicles in the past several years.