World Business Quick Take


Wed, Jan 07, 2015 - Page 15


Broadway tops gross record

New York City’s Broadway ended last year with a bang — a big New Year’s Eve holiday capping off the highest-grossing calendar year in history. According to the Broadway League, the total gross was US$1.362 billion, with total attendance of 13.13 million for the year that just ended. The total take was a 14 percent uptick over 2013 — boosted by premium pricing — making last year the highest-grossing calendar year on Broadway. There also was a 13 percent increase in attendance over 2013. A hugely profitable Christmas week led to the highest-grossing new year’s holiday week, with The Elephant Man, It’s Only a Play, The Book of Mormon, Aladdin and The Lion King all breaking theater records.


Morgan Stanley fires ‘thief’

US investment bank Morgan Stanley on Monday said that it had fired an employee for stealing the personal data of hundreds of thousands of wealth management customers. Some account information for about 900 of the clients, including account numbers and names, was briefly posted on the Internet and, once detected, was “promptly removed,” the bank said in a statement. No passwords or US social security numbers were stolen, the company said, adding: “There is no evidence of any economic loss to any client.” Morgan Stanley did not identify the alleged thief, but said the person worked in its wealth management business, without providing further details.


JPMorgan settles lawsuit

JPMorgan Chase & Co has reached a settlement with accusers who alleged in a lawsuit that it had manipulated foreign exchange rates to its advantage, a well-placed source said on Monday in New York. The bank was one of 12 named in the class-action suit filed in March last year alleging that its staff conspired to manipulate rates in the multitrillion US dollar foreign exchange market in ways that cheated customers while boosting bank earnings. JPMorgan was not expected to divulge the financial terms of the deal with the plaintiffs, who include large investment funds, urban governments and employee pension plans, the source said, adding that the settlement payout was less than US$1 billion.


Volvo finishes Dongfeng deal

Swedish truck maker Volvo Group on Monday said that it had completed the acquisition of 45 percent of a subsidiary to Chinese motor giant Dongfeng Motor Group (東風) for US$893 million. Announced in January 2013 and now confirmed by Beijing, the deal awards Volvo a share in Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles worth 5.5 billion yuan (US$886 million). The other 55 percent remains in the hands of the parent company Dongfeng, one of the main shareholders of the French carmaker PSA.


Chinese pet treats recalled

Petco on Monday said that it has removed all remaining Chinese-made dog and cat treats from its Web site and stores across the US amid concerns that they have sickened thousands of pets and killed 1,000 dogs in the nation since 2007. The US Food and Drug Administration said that initial tests have not connected the Chinese jerky and rawhide treats to the illnesses, but the San Diego-based company and rival PetSmart vowed in May last year to ban the snacks. Petco, which has 1,300 stores, is the first US pet retailer to pull the treats. Phoenix-based PetSmart Inc said on Monday that it plans to have them off shelves by March.