Stimulus measures unveiled
The government has unveiled a modest stimulus plan focusing on new technology and ecology, in an attempt to boost an economy that is back in recession and is weighing on overall European prospects. The 12 billion euro (US$15 billion) plan announced on Tuesday especially targets “green” investments, in energy, industry, transport, health and research. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said revenue from the sale of state stakes in private companies will help finance the program, so that it would have a minimum impact on public finances. The government forecasts growth of just 0.1 percent this year.
Apple drops ‘Appstore’ case
Apple Inc dropped its lawsuit on Tuesday against rival Amazon.com Inc for using the term “Appstore” for its online shop for mobile gadget applications. A court order dismissing the case was signed on Tuesday in US federal court in Northern California, where Apple had filed the suit in 2011. The suit had claimed that Amazon’s use of the term Appstore infringed Apple’s rights for its App Store, where it sells mobile applications for its iPad and iPhone. Earlier this year, US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled that Apple had failed to establish that Amazon made any false statement or had deceived customers.
RIM name change approved
Research In Motion Ltd (RIM) has won formal approval to change its name to BlackBerry. The Canadian company announced plans for the name change in January, when it unveiled new smartphones running a revamped operating system called BlackBerry 10. Since January, RIM has been going by BlackBerry in marketing materials. It has also changed its ticker symbol to “BBRY.” However, a legal name change required shareholders’ approval at Tuesday’s annual meeting. On Tuesday, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins told shareholders the firm is in the second stage of its turnaround. Stage three, he says, includes profitability.
Macquarie to buy ING unit
Macquarie Group Ltd, Australia’s largest investment bank, agreed to buy ING Groep NV’s South Korean investment management unit to add 25.2 trillion won (US$22 billion) of assets. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter and would not have a material impact on earnings, ING, the biggest Dutch financial services company, said in a statement yesterday. Neither company disclosed detailed terms. The Sydney-based company said in a separate statement that the purchase will make it the largest foreign asset manager in South Korea. Amsterdam-based ING said it is planning to sell the rest of its insurance and investment management businesses in Asia, including ING Life Korea.
Burberry enjoys growth
British luxury brand Burberry maintained its full-year guidance as it posted an 18 percent rise in first quarter underlying retail revenue, driven by robust demand for spring/summer fashion. The 157-year-old seller of raincoats and leather goods, known for its camel, red-and-black check pattern, said yesterday it made ￡339 million (US$503 million) of retail revenue in the three months to June 30. That compared with analysts’ average forecast of ￡316 million, according to a company poll, and ￡280 million in the same period last year. Comparable store sales growth was 13 percent, ahead of a fourth-quarter increase of 8 percent.