Sun, Feb 04, 2018 - Page 14 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

TELECOMS

Vodafone in acquisition talks

Vodafone Group PLC has confirmed that it is in early stage discussions with Liberty Global PLC regarding the potential acquisition of some “overlapping continental European assets” that are owned by Liberty Global. Vodafone acknowledged the discussions in a statement on Friday that followed reports of talks in the Financial Times. The newspaper reported that the talks were likely to involve holdings in the UK and Germany. Vodafone said there is no certainty the deal would take place and said the matter was limited in scope.

EMPLOYMENT

Best Buy doles out bonuses

US consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co said it would be handing out bonuses to more than 100,000 employees, joining a list of companies sharing a portion of their windfall from the corporate tax reform law with employees. The Minneapolis-based chain said that this month it would pay one-time bonuses of US$1,000 to full-time workers and US$500 to part-time employees. Company spokesman Jeff Shelman said full-time salaried employees on a bonus plan would not get the extra funds.

REAL ESTATE

UK sees fewer homes built

UK homebuilding activity shrank last month, ending a 16-month expansion, according to a report on Friday. IHS Markit’s monthly index fell to 48.1, the lowest since just after the Brexit vote in 2016 and below the key 50 line that separates expansion from contraction. The reading was down from 55.3 in December last year. Housing had been the main driver of growth in recent months and its slump dragged the overall construction purchasing managers’ index to 50.2 — a four-month low — from 52.2. IHS Markit said new construction orders fell slightly for the first time in four months.

BANKING

Fed chair moves forward

US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, the first woman to head the nation’s central bank, is not taking any time off. Her last day at the Fed was on Friday. She is to start a new job tomorrow at the Brookings Institution. The Washington think tank said Yellen would join the institution’s Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy as a distinguished fellow in residence.

SHIPPING

Fincantieri wins French deal

Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri SpA said on Friday it has reached an agreement with France to buy 50 percent of the French shipyard STX. Fincantieri said it would pay 59.7 million euros (US$74.4 million) to conclude the deal for the shipyard in the western port of Saint-Nazaire, which builds huge cruise liners and warships. Under the terms of the agreement, the French state would keep a blocking minority in the company.

TECHNOLOGY

Dell mulls VMware merger

Dell Inc is considering merging with business software provider VMware Inc as part of several potential strategic options. The Round Rock, Texas-based computer maker already owns 82 percent of VMware. The company said the board of directors is reviewing the option. Dell, which went private in 2013, also said on Friday it is considering a public offering of stock.

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