Sat, Sep 24, 2016 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

FRANCE

Economy slid 0.1% in Q2

The French economy slowed 0.1 percent in the second quarter after growing 0.7 percent in the previous three months, a revised estimate by the INSEE national statistics agency showed yesterday. It is the first time the eurozone’s No. 2 economy has contracted since the first quarter of 2013. The statistics agency had previously said economic growth was flat in the April-to-June period. The slowdown was driven by a sharp decline in inventories, INSEE said, which shaved 0.7 points off national output, while trade added 0.6 points. Household spending declined 0.1 percent.

LODGING

Airbnb valued at US$30bn

Home-sharing giant Airbnb Inc just raised US$555 million and is seeking even more in a funding round that values the company at US$30 billion, a source close to the company said. The San Francisco-based start-up has taken in US$555.46 million through a private funding round that was launched in late July and remained open, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. The funding round could reach US$850 million, the source said. Money taken was expected to be used to fuel growth and international expansion of Airbnb.

TECHNOLOGY

Apple buys Tuplejump for AI

Apple Inc has acquired Indian machine-learning start-up Tuplejump Software Pvt Ltd, as it seeks to expand its expertise in artificial intelligence (AI). The iPhone maker bought the Hyderabad, India-based company in June, according to a person familiar with the deal who asked not to be identified. Tuplejump’s software specializes in processing and analyzing big sets of data quickly. The deal was reported earlier by TechCrunch. The purchase price was not disclosed. The Tuplejump deal is Apple’s third acquisition in the industry this year. Tuplejump has about a dozen employees, many of whom were already based on the US west coast, the person said.

BANKING

CaixaBank raises US$1.5bn

CaixaBank SA, Spain’s third-largest lender, on Thursday sold shares for 1.3 billion euros (US$1.5 billion) to fund its takeover of Portugal’s Banco BPI SA. The company sold 585 million shares, the equivalent of a 9.9 percent stake, to private investors, CaixaBank said in a statement. Shares were sold at 2.26 euros each, a 3.7 percent discount to their closing price. CaixaBank agreed to pay about 900 million euros to buy the 55 percent of BPI it does not already own. The bank increased its offer to 1.134 euros a share from 1.113 euros on Wednesday after BPI shareholders agreed to scrap voting rights limits, a key condition for the bid and one that made the offer mandatory.

TECHNOLOGY

BlackBerry nets Radar client

BlackBerry Ltd has found a customer for its fleet-tracking device, taking a first step into the crowded market for monitoring cargo trucks and trains. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company is to install 500 units of the BlackBerry Radar on trailers owned by Oakville, Ontario-based trucker Caravan Group. The Radar is a box that sticks on the back of a tractor-trailer container and frequently updates its owner on the trailer’s temperature, location and whether the door is open or closed. A spokeswoman for BlackBerry declined to say what the deal was worth.

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