World Business Quick Take

Agencies

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 - Page 15

AIRLINES

JAL plane forced back

A Japan Airlines (JAL) Boeing 787 bound for Tokyo was forced to return to Boston on Thursday due to a possible pump problem, the carrier said, as it dismissed concerns of a new crisis for the plane after a fire in London. On Friday last week, a 787 flown by Ethiopian Airlines caught fire at London’s Heathrow Airport. No one was aboard the parked plane at the time of the incident. British authorities have since recommended that distress beacons on board all Boeing Dreamliners be disabled, after identifying the devices as the likely cause of the fire pending further investigation.

COMPUTERS

Dell buyout vote postponed

Dell on Thursday postponed a vote on a US$24.4 billion go-private buyout plan amid opposition by major shareholders, creating new uncertainty for the former No. 1 computer maker. A Dell statement said the shareholder meeting on the plan, which opened briefly in Texas, was delayed until Monday. “Today’s special meeting of stockholders was convened and adjourned to provide additional time to solicit proxies from Dell stockholders,” the statement said. “No vote was taken on the proposed transaction prior to the adjournment.” Dell shares rose 1.86 percent to close on Thursday at US$13.12.

UNITED STATES

Moody’s upgrades US

Ratings firm Moody’s on Thursday raised its outlook on the US to “stable” from “negative,” citing the US federal government’s progress in putting debt on a more sustainable path. Moody’s “today moved the outlook on the Aaa government bond rating of the United States back to stable, replacing the negative outlook that has been in place since August 2011,” the company said in a statement. Moody’s added that the top triple-A rating was still warranted on US sovereign debt. It said the outlook upgrade reflected its view “that the federal government’s debt trajectory is on track to meet the criteria laid out in August 2011 for a return to a stable outlook.”

MUSIC

Vivendi rejects Softbank bid

French media and telecommunications group Vivendi has rejected an US$8.5 billion offer by Japan’s Softbank for Universal Music, the world’s largest music group, the Financial Times reported. Vivendi told Softbank it was not interested because it saw the music company as central to its future strategy, the financial daily reported on its Web site on Thursday, citing sources close to the matter. An US$8.5 billion offer would value Universal Music at US$2 billion to US$3 billion above most analyst estimates, the Financial Times said.

FINANCE

Morgan Stanley sets buyback

Morgan Stanley said on Thursday that it would buy back up to US$500 million of its own shares, news that surprised investors and helped boost the share price by more that 4 percent. It also reported higher earnings and revenue for the second quarter, helped by gains in both its investment bank and wealth management. Additionally, it is fresh off closing its purchase of brokerage firm Smith Barney from Citigroup, a yearslong process that has been central to CEO James Gorman’s plan to reshape Morgan Stanley. The company earned US$898 million in the quarter after excluding the benefit of an accounting gain, more than double the US$337 million it made a year earlier. Revenue totaled US$8.3 billion before the accounting gain, up 26 percent from a year earlier.