Number of millionaires rises
The number of millionaires in the world jumped 9.2 percent to 12 million last year, according to a study of the high-net-worth population. The survey, released on Tuesday by RBC Wealth Management and Capgemini Financial Services, tracked high-net-worth people, whom it defined as those with more than US$1 million that they can invest. The survey polled more than 4,000 high-net-worth people globally in February and March, including 736 Americans. North America was home to the highest number of millionaires, with 3.7 million. However, the study projected that the Asia-Pacific region, which held the top spot in 2011, would reclaim it.
Shipping trio forge alliance
Three leading shipping companies announced an alliance on three crucial routes on Tuesday in a strategy to face over-capacity and declining demand for transportation. CMA CGM of France, AP-Moller Maersk Group of Denmark and Swiss MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company said that the new so-called P3 Network would initially use 255 ships on three trade lanes: Asia-Europe, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic. However, anti-trust regulators are certain to give the unprecedented alliance careful scrutiny as it puts the industry’s biggest shippers in close cooperation with an overall capacity of 2.6 million standard-sized containers.
Data suggest inflation stable
Inflation showed signs of stabilizing last month after a long decline, a potential comfort to Federal Reserve policymakers who want to avoid any chance of a debilitating bout of deflation. The Department of Labor on Tuesday said the consumer price index edged 0.1 percent higher last month after two straight months of decline, while the so-called core index, which excludes food and energy costs, rose 0.2 percent, just above the pace clocked in April. The core index, which the central bank monitors closely because it is less volatile and provides a better sense of price trends, was up 1.7 percent in the 12 months through last month.
Battle for Dell continues
Corporate raider Carl Icahn, who has lambasted a privatization plan led by Dell Inc founder Michael Dell as undervaluing the company, on Tuesday said he and his investor allies would vote against that proposal and urged shareholders to consider his alternative. Under Icahn’s plan, Dell would make a tender offer for US$14 per share for about 1.1 billion Dell shares. The offer is intended to account for approximately 72 percent of outstanding shares, Icahn said. The price of such an offer would top the US$13.65 per share offered by Michael Dell and investment fund Silver Lake Partners that would take the company private in a US$24.4 billion transaction.
Chrysler agrees to US recall
After initially defying federal regulators, Chrysler Group LLC abruptly agreed on Tuesday to recall some older-model Jeeps with fuel tanks that could rupture and cause fires in rear-end collisions. However, the recall, which came in an 11th-hour deal between the automaker and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covers only 1.56 million of the 2.7 million Jeeps that the US government wanted repaired. The rest are part of a “customer service action” and many may not get fixed. By giving in, Chrysler sidesteps a showdown that could have led to public hearings with details of deadly crashes.