Thu, May 11, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



AXA planning IPO

AXA SA, Europe’s second-largest insurer, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) of its US operations to fund expansion and potentially return money to shareholders. AXA intends to list a minority stake in its US businesses and expects to include its US Life and Savings unit and stake in money manager AllianceBernstein Holding LP in the IPO, the company said in a statement yesterday. The listing would take place in the first half of next year, subject to market conditions, helping speed up AXA’s achievement of its 2020 profit goals. Axa plans to reinvest the proceeds into its priority businesses, which include health, protection and commercial property and casualty lines.


Apple to monitor sleep

Apple Inc already tracks its users footsteps and fitness levels and now it wants to analyze people’s sleep. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has acquired Beddit, a maker of sleep-tracking hardware and software, according to a message on the Finland-based company’s Web site. Beddit sells a US$150 sensor strip that can be placed under bed sheets and transfers sleep-related information to an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch for analysis. The accompanying Beddit app can tell users how long they slept and break down the night into categories such as “restless sleep,” “snoring” and “awake.” Like the Apple Watch, it also provides heart rate data to an iPhone. The deal would allow Apple greater access to the health tracking business. The company has been working on sleep tracking functionality for the Apple Watch for a number of years. Beddit’s technology is expected to help with that.


Merger faces probe

Just Eat PLC’s £200 million (US$259 million) acquisition of Hungryhouse faces an in-depth probe by UK regulators over concerns it could lead to poorer service for British restaurants using either delivery service. The planned merger is to be referred to a Phase 2 investigation, the British Competition and Markets Authority said in a statement yesterday. Its concerns are based on the fact that the two are close competitors because of similar services and broad geographical coverage and a merger could lead to “worse terms” for its restaurant clients, the regulator said. Just Eat in December last year agreed to buy Hungryhouse from Delivery Hero Holding GmbH to fend off growing competition from competitors like Deliveroo, UberEATS and Amazon Restaurants, which were also cited in the authority’s statement.


Credit Suisse hiring in US

Credit Suisse Group AG is adding 1,200 jobs to its offices in Raleigh, North Carolina. Credit Suisse is to increase its finance, technology and operations workforce this year through a combination of moving roles from New York and making new hires, the bank said. The firm already employs about 1,500 people in the area and is to receive US$40.2 million in tax reimbursements over 12 years if it meets hiring and investment targets, the state’s governor said in a statement. While Credit Suisse is retrenching globally as part of a turnaround plan, its cost-cutting efforts have been a boost to the operations in North Carolina’s Research Triangle area. Global banks including Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc have been moving a greater portion of employees to lower-cost locations as part of plans to trim expenses amid low interest rates, weak trading revenue and legal bills tied to past misconduct.

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