Samsung tablet ban eased
A German court has lifted a ban on sales of Samsung’s new tablet computer in most European countries that it initially imposed following a complaint by US rival Apple. Samsung still cannot sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany however, a spokesman for the tribunal in Duesseldorf said. “Nothing has changed for Samsung’s German division, nor for products sold in Germany by Samsung Korea,” the spokesman said. On Aug. 9, the court had banned sales of the tablet computer throughout Europe, though the Netherlands was not affected for complex procedural reasons.
S&P cuts Google’s rating
Google Inc’s stock rating was cut to “sell” from “buy” by an analyst at Standard & Poor’s (S&P), who said the company’s planned purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc may slow growth and narrow profit margins. The US$12.5 billion transaction may not provide sufficient protection from patent claims for Google’s Android mobile software, Scott Kessler, an equity analyst at S&P, wrote in a note on Tuesday. S&P lowered the one-year price target for the shares to US$500 from US$700. “We see greater risk to the company and stock,” Kessler said in the note. “We are not sure it will protect Android” from patent issues.
Moller-Maersk profit rises
Danish shipper and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S says net profit ticked up 2.6 percent to 14.5 billion kroner (US$2.8 billion) in the first half of this year thanks to higher oil prices and container volumes. The world’s largest container shipping company says revenues for the six-month period amounted to 159.2 billion kroner, up 3.7 percent year-on-year. The Copenhagen-based group yesterday said the performances of both its shipping terminals and oil-related businesses led to “a satisfactory result” for the half-year period. It expects a lower result this year due to volatility in the oil price and global economy.
Qantas seeks new base
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says he is negotiating with multiple Asian governments to find a base for a new premium airline that the Australian carrier hopes will turnaround its loss-making international business. Under a five-year plan announced on Tuesday, Qantas will invest in a new premium airline in Asia that will operate under a different name. Joyce yesterday said he has yet to decide on the new airline’s Asian base that will overcome the high costs and geographic isolation of Australia. He says dialogue with multiple governments will continue. Singapore and Kuala Lumpur have been mentioned in media reports as preferred options.
Seoul approves gas deals
South Korea yesterday approved deals sought by its state gas company to import 5.64 million tonnes of natural gas annually through Dutch and French firms. The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said it endorsed Korea Gas Corp’s deal with France’s Total to buy 2 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas each year from 2014 to 2031. Korea Gas will also forge a deal with Shell to buy 3.64 million tonnes annually for 20 years, starting in 2015, when the Dutch energy giant begins producing gas from its Prelude mine in Australia, the ministry said. The company is expected to sign formal contracts with Total and Shell next month, the ministry said in a statement without disclosing the value of each deal.