Wed, Jun 24, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

REAL ESTATE

US home resales surge

US home resales surged to a five-and-a-half-year high last month as first-time buyers stepped into the market, the latest indication that housing and overall economic activity were gathering steam in the second quarter. The improving economic outlook likely keeps the US Federal Reserve on course to raise interest rates later this year. The US’ National Association of Realtors on Monday said that existing-home sales increased 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.35 million units, the highest level since November 2009.

BANKING

More Lloyds shares sold

The UK government sold about £639 million (US$1 billion) of shares in Lloyds Banking Group PLC, lowering the Treasury’s holding to less than 17 percent. The sale reduced the stake by another 1 percentage point since June 10, when the Treasury last disclosed it had sold shares, according to a statement from the lender yesterday. This compares with 24.9 percent at the start of the trading plan initiated by the Treasury in December last year, the lender said. Sales of shares in Lloyds have netted the Treasury about £11.5 billion.

INSURANCE

Cigna rejects Anthem bid

Cigna Corp rejected Anthem Inc’s US$47 billion takeover bid, saying it was inadequate, not in the best interests of shareholders and that Anthem’s management was not fit to lead a merged insurance giant. Anthem on Saturday offered to buy the smaller health insurer for US$184 per share, in what would be the biggest takeover ever in a US industry on the verge of major consolidation. Insurers such as Anthem are searching for ways to cut costs and keep expanding profits amid a surge in enrollment from Obamacare and new rules from the law.

INTERNET

Amazon changes author pay

Amazon.com Inc on Monday said it would start paying writers of ebooks on its Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner’s Lending Library services based on how many pages are read instead of the number of downloads. The change, which Amazon said applies only to authors who self-publish on Kindle, Amazon’s own ebook reader, are to take effect next month. The Seattle-based firm is to continue the practice of setting a monthly Kindle Direct Publishing select global fund.

? AUTOMAKERS

Tesla rejects delay report

Tesla Motors Inc on Monday disputed a report that it was delaying production of the Model 3 to 2018. The company has not changed its plans to introduce the car in 2017, company spokeswoman Khobi Brooklyn said in an e-mailed statement. Earlier on Monday, the Web site Inside EVs said output would not begin until the following year, citing a slide from a June 15 presentation by Tesla chief technology officer JB Straubel at an energy conference.

ELECTRONICS

Bigger PlayStation on way

Sony Corp is to release a new PlayStation 4 with double the storage capacity next month, countering Microsoft’s release of a beefed-up version of rival console Xbox One. The PlayStation Ultimate Player Edition that can store as much as one terabyte of data is to launch in Europe, Africa and Asia on July 15, the Japanese consumer electronics titan said on Monday in a blog post. Pricing details were not disclosed.

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