Moody’s expects no US suit
Credit ratings company Moody’s does not believe it is the subject of any “impending” US lawsuit over its ratings of mortgage bonds ahead of the 2008 crisis, the company’s chief executive said on Friday. Moody’s chief executive Ray McDaniel characterized recent interactions with regulators as routine, after repeated questions from analysts on an earnings conference call about the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s. “We don’t have any knowledge of any impending complaint by the Department of Justice raising similar claims against Moody’s,” McDaniel said, adding that Moody’s was not named in the Department of Justice’s suit against S&P.
Glencore considers listing
Metals and mining giant Glencore is considering listing itself on the South African stock exchange, the world’s top minerals bourse, a source familiar with the issue said on Friday. The potential move could be part of a drive to increase Glencore’s clout as it seals its merger with fellow mining multinational Xstrata, the source said on condition of anonymity. Both groups are headquartered in the tax-friendly Swiss canton of Zug. Glencore’s merger with Xstrata is due to be completed by March 15, provided Chinese regulators give a green light. The merger has already won the conditional approval of the European Commission as well as South African competition authorities.
Boards to vote on merger
The boards of American Airlines parent AMR Corp and US Airways Group Inc are prepared to vote on a merger tomorrow as executives and advisers work on final terms this weekend, people familiar with the matter said. The sides have agreed that AMR’s bankruptcy creditors would get 72 percent of the equity in the new carrier, with 28 percent for US Airways shareholders, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. US Airways chief executive officer Doug Parker will run the airline as AMR CEO Tom Horton becomes non-executive chairman, the person said.
Advertising galvanizes AOL
AOL is showing signs of revival with gains in advertising, a key step toward the reinvention of the former Internet star as a media firm. AOL said on Friday profits in the fourth quarter jumped 57 percent from a year earlier to US$35.7 million, led by a rise in ad revenues. Total revenues were up 4 percent from a year earlier to US$599.5 million, in what the company said was the first time revenue had increased year-over-year in eight years. The growth was led by advertising, which saw a 13 percent jump in revenue.
McDonald’s gets US surprise
McDonald’s Corp, the world’s largest restaurant chain, posted a surprise gain in US same-store sales last month while demand slumped in the Asia-Pacific region. Sales in the US increased 0.9 percent last month, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said on Friday in a statement. Analysts projected a drop of 0.3 percent, the average of 14 estimates compiled by Consensus Metrix. Sales in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa plunged 9.5 percent while analysts anticipated a decline of 5.8 percent. The company’s same-store sales in Japan, the company’s largest Asian market with about 3,200 locations, dropped 17 percent last month, it said.