S Korea FDI hits decade high
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Korea rose to a 10-year high this year, boosted by the country’s fast economic recovery and confidence about growth prospects, a government report showed yesterday. Investment pledged by foreigners this year reached US$12.9 billion, up 12.1 percent from a year earlier, the South Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy said. In the fourth quarter, foreign investment rose 62 percent year-on-year to US$5.61 billion, it said. Next year, South Korea aims to attract US$15 billion in foreign investment, the ministry said.
RIM tablet needs new battery
Research In Motion Ltd (RIM) may need to re-engineer its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer, due next year, to improve its battery life, according to Kaufman Bros analyst Shaw Wu. Developers who are designing applications for the PlayBook said the device has a battery life of two to four hours, compared with as long as 10 hours for Apple Inc’s iPad, Wu said on Tuesday in an interview. “One possibility we are hearing is the likelihood of a larger battery which could add to the heft and weight of PlayBook,” Wu, who is based in San Francisco, wrote on Tuesday in a note to clients. “We are not convinced that tablets outside of the iPad will see high-volume success.”
Putin greenlights PepsiCo
PepsiCo’s big venture into Russia received a major boost on Tuesday when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gave his blessing to the US giant’s takeover of a major local juice and dairy firm. PepsiCo’s intended purchase of Wimm-Bill-Dann is its biggest acquisition outside the US and one of the most important deals ever struck outside the Russian energy sector. The takeover earned a nod of approval from the head of Russia’s anti-monopoly service on Monday and still further support from the country’s de facto leader Putin. “This deal’s implementation will not only help our partners establish themselves on the Russian food market, but enter the markets of the Commonwealth of Independent States,” ITAR-TASS quoted Putin as saying.
No stress tests needed: CEO
The chief executive of French bank Societe Generale said on Tuesday further European bank stress tests are not needed, as their exposure to sovereign debt is known, in an interview with financial news channel CNBC. “The exposure to sovereign debts is public. They are well known,” Frederic Oudea said according to the channel’s Web site. Of 91 European banks tested in July, only seven — five in Spain, one in Germany and one in Greece — were found to be vulnerable to economic stress.
Groupon approves funding
Groupon’s board has authorized the local-coupon site to raise up to US$950 million in funding, a recent Delaware regulatory filing says. Google Inc reportedly tried to buy the Chicago company for between US$5 billion and US$6 billion but was rejected early this month. In a Dec. 17 amended certificate of incorporation, which was first reported on Tuesday by venture capital data provider VC Experts, Groupon said it may issue up to 30 million Series G Preferred Shares at a price of US$31.59 each. Groupon’s last round of funding — US$135 million — came in April from Mail.ru Group, formerly Digital Sky Technologies.