Wed, May 18, 2016 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Cheaper telecom urged

The government plans to step up the pressure for the country’s largest mobile-phone carriers to offer cheaper plans as surging profits show they have room to reduce costs for customers, an official at the Ministry of Communications said. Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Sanae Takaichi may make a new round of requests to carriers, according to the official. If successful, any cuts would build on previous recommendations by a panel the government formed to study lower fees, the official said.

INTERNET

Sell Pandora: stakeholder

An activist hedge fund on Monday revealed it owns nearly 10 percent of Pandora Media Inc and called for the sale of the Internet radio service. Corvex Management managing partner Keith Meister said in a letter to the Pandora board that his fund holds about 22.7 million shares, making it the Oakland-based company’s largest shareholder, with a stake of 9.9 percent. Pandora shares were up 3.51 percent to US$10.33 in after market trades on the New York Stock Exchange. Pandora explored a sale earlier this year, US media reports said.

COFFEE SHOPS

Starbucks issues bonds

Starbucks Corp is turning to the bond market to fund its sustainable-coffee efforts. The Seattle-based chain has issued a first-of-its-kind US$500 million US corporate sustainability bond, according to a statement on Monday. The 10-year, 2.45 percent senior notes will fund programs that ensure coffee is grown and distributed in a way that can be maintained over the long run, such as providing fair pay for workers and protection for wildlife, according to Starbucks.

INDONESIA

Investment firm mulled

The government is turning to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte as a model to create a sovereign investment company to drive development in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. The government is considering starting an investment holding company for four or five state-owned entities, which could then buy shares in the country’s companies, Minister of Finance Bambang Brodjonegoro said in an interview in Jakarta on Monday. If the fund is successful, it might over time invest in assets overseas, as Temasek did, he said.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter expands limits

Twitter plans to let people fire off links or pictures without eating into the 140-character limit set for posts at the one-to-many messaging service, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The change could take place by the end of this month, according to a Blomberg report that cited someone familiar with the matter. Twitter declined to comment, but the move would come as it strives to ramp up the number of users along with how much people communicate at the service.

BANKING

BSI SA probes employees

BSI SA, the Swiss bank embroiled in global probes into 1Malaysia Development Bhd, is investigating employees and their dealings related to the embattled Malaysian state investment fund, according to people familiar with the matter. One of the employees the private bank is investigating in Singapore is Kevin Swampillai, according to the people. Swampillai, the managing director of wealth management services, has been suspended pending investigation.

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