Canadians to build housing
A Canadian company has signed a four-year agreement with the government to build 10,000 homes. The island’s housing ministry says Commonwealth Corporate Support Services will launch the US$705 million project this year. Officials said the project aims to provide housing for the middle class and that local workers will be trained and hired. The government said in a statement on Friday that it will provide the land for the homes.
Baidu buying Nuomi stake
Baidu Inc (百度), owner of China’s largest search engine, agreed to buy a majority stake in the e-commerce Web site operator Nuomi Holdings Inc (糯米) for about US$160 million. Beijing-based Baidu will buy about 59 percent of the operator of Nuomi.com from Renren Inc (人人), according to a press release. Nuomi had general merchandise sales of about US$120 million in the second quarter, the companies said. Nuomi had 3.8 million active paying users, the companies said.
Nokia ‘committed’ to India
Finnish telecom giant Nokia Oyj said on Saturday it is in talks with India’s government about how to create a better business climate and remains “committed” to its manufacturing plant in the country. The statement followed an Indian Express newspaper report on Friday that said the mobile maker had told New Delhi the country is now its “least favorable market” in which to operate and it made better sense to export its products from China. “These discussions have been both constructive and productive, and both sides have worked in a true spirit of cooperation,” the company said in an e-mailed statement to reporters.
CCB profits rise 13%
China Construction Bank Corp (CCB, 中國建設銀行), the nation’s second-largest lender, said first-half profit rose 13 percent to a record as income from lending and fee-based services gained. Net income climbed to 119.7 billion yuan (US$19.6 billion), or 0.48 yuan a share, from 106.3 billion yuan, or 0.43 yuan, a year earlier, the Beijing-based lender said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange yesterday. That exceeded the 117.8 billion yuan median estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Blackstone reshuffles assets
Global investment giant Blackstone is reshuffling its vast real-estate portfolio, shedding US assets to buy new ones in Europe and Asia. The New York-based firm is working on an initial public offering (IPO) of Hilton Worldwide and appears to be seeking a disposal of La Quinta Inns & Suites hotels. It also is planning IPOs for Brixmor Property Group and Extended Stay Hotels, a source close to the situation said last week. Meanwhile, the company is going ahead with several acquisitions, including the purchase of 30,0000 apartments from US industrial conglomerate General Electric for about US$2.7 billion.
Caracas, PA ink deal
Venezuela and the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Saturday signed agreements which include deals to sell oil to the occupied territories at a “fair price,” Caracas said. The accords were inked following a meeting between Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua and his Palestinian counterpart, Riyad al-Malki. The agreement also guarantees “favorable” repayment terms, as well as training of Palestinians on handling and distribution of oil.