Mattel loses Bratz case
A US judge has ordered Mattel to pay just under US$310 million to its rival MGA Entertainment in the protracted legal battle over the Bratz doll and refused to allow it a new trial. The California federal judge on Thursday ordered that Mattel pay its competitor US$170 million in damages, and nearly US$140 million in legal fees and other costs in a dispute over ownership claims for the lucrative doll line aimed at pre-teen girls. A jury had earlier this year already rejected copyright infringement claims by the maker of the world-famous Barbie doll against MGA.
RBS plunges into the red
Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS) reported a second-quarter loss yesterday after it wrote down the value of its Greek bond holdings by ￡733 million (US$841 million). The bank said it posted a net loss of ￡897 million, compared with a profit of ￡257 million in the same period last year. It also set aside a previously announced ￡850 million charge for customers who were missold payment protection insurance on mortgages and other loans. RBS, which is 83 percent owned by the British taxpayer, has hundreds of millions of pounds of exposure to Greek debt, making it vulnerable to the country’s ongoing crisis. Many of those losses are tied to its acquisition of Dutch bank ABN Amro.
AIG back in the black
Bailed-out American International Group (AIG) reported a profit for the second quarter on Thursday as tax benefits and its one-third stake in Asian insurer AIA offset a decline in operating income at its main businesses. The company’s chief executive also confirmed it is working on taking its aircraft leasing business public, though that may not happen this year. Sources had previously said that the company was working on hiring bankers to pursue an initial public offering. AIG reported a net profit of US$1.84 billion, or US$1 per share, compared with a year-earlier loss of US$2.66 billion, or US$19.57 per share.
Allianz hit by bond losses
Allianz SE says net profit slipped 7.4 percent in the second quarter as the company took a loss of 326 million euros (US$460 million) on its holdings of Greek bonds. Net profit was 1.071 billion euros, down from 1.157 billion euros last year, falling short of analysts’ estimates. Revenues were down 3.2 percent to 24.6 billion euros. Chief executive Michael Diekmann said the results were “satisfying” since the company had maintained “stable profitability” through a difficult period of currency and market fluctuations, as well as the Greek debt crisis. The company confirmed its earnings outlook for the year of 7.5 billion eurods to 8.5 billion euros in operating earnings, which excludes some financial items.
Tiger’s court case adjourned
Budget carrier Tiger Airways Australia will remain suspended until at least Thursday after court proceedings in Australia over the issue were adjourned yesterday, its Singapore-based parent firm said. Tiger Airways Holdings said its wholly owned Australian subsidiary was working “constructively” with Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to resolve issues that led to the carrier being grounded last month. At a court hearing yesterday, both parties requested an adjournment to Thursday as CASA has asked for more information from the carrier.