World Business Quick Take

Agencies

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 - Page 15

TELECOMS

Telefonica to buy E-Plus

Spain’s Telefonica plans to buy German mobile unit E-Plus from Dutch telecom company Royal KPN NV for 5 billion euros (US$6.58 billion) plus shares, a deal that would create Germany’s biggest cellphone operator in terms of customers. The proposed deal announced yesterday would bring together E-Plus, currently Germany’s No. 3 operator with 23.4 million customers, and O2 — the fourth-biggest, which is already owned by Telefonica and has 19.3 million customers. The deal is subject to shareholder and antitrust approval. The companies expect the transaction to close in the middle of next year.

HOUSING

US home resales down

US home resales unexpectedly fell last month after two straight months of hefty increases, but a surge in prices to a five-year high suggested the housing market recovery remained on course. The National Association of Realtors said on Monday home sales fell 1.2 percent from a year ago to 5.08 million units. Still, the sales pace was the second highest for any month since November 2009. Meanwhile, the median price for a previously owned home soared 13.5 percent from a year ago to US$214,200, the highest since June 2008.

INTERNET

Cross-border shopping up

A study released on Monday showed that Internet-powered shopping across national borders has created “modern spice routes” holding wealth for local merchants who tap into the booming trend. Nielsen research forecast that Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, Germany, China, Britain and the US would see a combined total of US$105 billion in “cross-border online shopping” this year and that figure should nearly triple to US$307 billion in the next five years. Of the markets studied, the US was the most popular cross-border shopping destination, followed by Britain, China and Hong Kong.

INTERNET

Alibaba offers smart buying

Alibaba Group Holding (阿里巴巴), China’s largest e-commerce company, has developed a smart TV operating system and set-top box to win more users by offering services on a wider spectrum of devices. Alibaba will make set-top boxes in collaboration with Wasu Media Holding Co (華數傳媒) that will link TVs to the Internet, the firm said yesterday. Some manufacturers will incorporate the operating system, which will include online shopping, and integrate its payment system Alipay in their TVs, it said.

SERVICE

McDonald’s Q2 disappoints

McDonald’s is mixing up its menu with healthier, fresher-sounding items such as its chicken McWraps, but not enough customers are biting. The world’s biggest hamburger chain on Monday reported a second-quarter profit that rose 4 percent to US$1.4 billion, or US$1.38 per share, from a year ago. However, that was short of the US$1.40 per share analysts expected. Sales this month are expected to be relatively flat, the company said.

SEMICONDUCTORS

TI upbeat on Q3 earnings

Texas Instruments Inc (TI), the largest analog-chip maker, forecast third-quarter sales and profit that may exceed analysts’ estimates as demand from the automotive and industrial markets helps counter a PC slump. Revenue will be US$3.09 billion to US$3.35 billion and earnings will be US$0.49 to US$0.57 a share, the company said in a statement on Monday. In the second quarter, net profit rose 48 percent to US$660 million, or US$0.58 a share, from a year earlier, it said.