Sun, Nov 08, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

TECHNOLOGY

China to tackle fakes

China plans to crackdown on the sale of fake goods online by using cloud computing, big data and tighter rules on user identity in its latest moves to quash counterfeiting. The country plans to eradicate intellectual property rights infringement on the Internet within three years, China’s Cabinet said yesterday. China is to promote the use of a “real-name system” on the Internet and electronic tags to make it easier to track goods and the identities of offenders, the statement said.

COMMODITIES

Corporate defaults climb

Global corporate defaults are at a six-year high as a slump in commodity prices squeezes energy companies and miners, Standard and Poor’s said. A total of 93 companies have missed interest payments, declared bankruptcy or exchanged debt at a discount this year though Wednesday, up from 52 a year earlier, the ratings company said in a report. It is the highest for the period since the 222 registered in 2009. Oil and gas companies account for 28 percent of this year’s global default tally, Standard and Poor’s said. By region, more than half of the global defaults were in the US, while Europe’s total doubled from a year earlier to 12.

Investment

Berkshire Q3 profit doubles

Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s third-quarter profit more than doubled as the completion of the Kraft-Heinz merger boosted the value of its stake in the food giant. The conglomerate said it earned US$9.4 billion, or US$5,737 per Class A share. That is up from US$4.6 billion, or US$2,811 per share, in last year’s third quarter. Berkshire’s revenue grew 15 percent to almost US$59 billion as its non-insurance businesses performed well. Berkshire holds about 30 percent of the stock in the Kraft Heinz Food Co and it recorded a US$4.4 billion after-tax gain as a result of the merger.

HOSPITALITY

IHG denies exploring sale

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) PLC on Friday said it was not exploring a sale or merger, following a media report that the company was looking at its strategic options. Bloomberg reported earlier that IHG was in discussions with its financial advisers over whether to put itself up for sale or combine with a competitor, as the sector consolidates.

PHARMACEUTICALS

Drug pricing probe initiated

The US Justice Department is probing some drug pricing practices of pharmaceutical giants Merck and Co and Eli Lilly and Co, the companies on Friday said in securities filings. Both companies said they were cooperating with the probes. The inquiries come as drug companies such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc face higher scrutiny over drug pricing following accusations of predatory pricing.

TECHNOLOGY

NYT launches VR application

The New York Times has taken its first step into virtual reality, launching a new app and distributing a Google cardboard viewer that offers “a new form of story telling.” Subscribers can download the mobile app and use it alone, or enhance the experience by using headphones and the special virtual-reality viewer. The app is available for download on iPhone and Android phones.

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