Apple papers auctioned
The founding papers that set up Apple Computers Inc sold on Tuesday in New York for just under US$1.6 million, 10 times the maximum amount expected by Sotheby’s auctioneers. “The 1976 document, which once belonged to Ronald G. Wayne, one of Apple’s founders along with Steven P. Jobs and Stephen G. Wozniak, is the first chapter in the story of one of America’s most important companies,” Sotheby’s said. It sold for US$1,594,500. Pre-auction estimates by Sotheby’s ranged from US$100,000 to US$150,000. The buyer was Eduardo Cisneros, CEO of Miami-based Cisneros Corp.
Intel in mobile project deal
Intel Corp and INSIDE Secure late on Tuesday unveiled an alliance which would enable the US chip colossus to make processors that let mobile gadgets act as wallets, tickets, car finders and more. An agreement between the firms gives Intel access to software and hardware technology at INSIDE, which specializes in near-field communications that gives chips the ability to securely exchange data wirelessly at short range. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement.
Thomas Cook closing shops
Thomas Cook reported a worse-than-expected decline in full-year operating profit and said it would close 200 of its underperforming shops in Britain, as it looks to reduce its debt and restore confidence among investors. Europe’s second-biggest travel firm by sales, which secured a rescue package from its banks last month, said the move is part of a turnaround plan which would enable it to deliver annual profit improvements of ￡110 million (US$171 million). The company said its operating profit for the year to yesterday fell ￡58 million to ￡304 million.
Growth forecast at 3 percent
The central bank said a survey of analysts shows the economy would likely grow 3 percent next year, less than the previous estimate. The survey of 21 analysts released yesterday by the central bank showed growth would likely be led by financial services expanding 4.2 percent and manufacturing up 3.4 percent. Analysts had expected the economy would grow 4.9 percent next year in the September survey. Analysts expect the economy will expand 5.2 percent this year.
Inflation edges lower
India said inflation inched down to 9.1 percent last month, the lowest level in a year, but still too high to be sustainable. Business leaders complain that 13 consecutive rate hikes by the central bank have not tamed inflation, which has averaged about 10 percent for two years now. Falling food prices helped lower inflation last month, but a plunging rupee is driving up the cost of fuel and manufactured goods, government data showed.
Ifo slashes growth forecast
The Munich-based Ifo Institute yesterday slashed its economic growth forecast for Germany next year, saying its economy can avoid a recession unless the eurozone debt crisis worsens. Ifo cut next year’s growth forecast to 0.4 percent from 2.3 percent and lowered its outlook for this year to 3 percent from 3.3 percent. While hiring will slow next year, unemployment will still decline as the population shrinks, it said. “The global economic development in the forecasting period depends decisively on the ability to manage the European debt crisis,” Ifo said in a statement.