BOC reportedly eyes HBOS
Bank of China (BOC, 中國銀行) could join forces with a Scottish businessman for a possible rival takeover bid for British mortgage lender HBOS, the BBC reported on Monday on its Web site. The BBC, which did not cite its source, said that BOC could join Jim Spowart, the creator of HBOS-owned online bank Intelligent Finance, in an audacious bid that could derail the agreed takeover of HBOS by Lloyds TSB. A potential takeover by BOC — if it were to succeed — would mark the biggest overseas acquisition ever by a Chinese group. However, the report added that the deal must be “at a pretty early stage” because no official statement has yet been issued to the London Stock Exchange.
Putin seeks Russian role
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called on Monday for Russia, the world’s second-largest oil exporter, to assume a greater role in influencing oil prices, Russian news agencies reported. “It’s clear that Russia, as one of the largest exporters and producers of oil and oil products, cannot sit on the sidelines in the process of how the global price for this commodity is formulated,” Interfax quoted Putin as saying after a government meeting on energy issues. “We have to develop a full set of measures which will enable us to actively influence the market.” Russian officials earlier said the government is considering setting up an oil reserve to influence prices.
Economy hurting pets
Pets — and vets — are feeling the pinch as South Korea’s economy slows, a report said yesterday. Owners who cannot afford medical bills are failing to collect their animals from veterinary clinics after treatment while others are turning their dogs and cats out onto the street, the Korea Times said. Seoul vet Lee Joo-ho said he has had to send three dogs and one cat to animal shelters in the past month after owners failed to collect them. “Even humans are finding it hard to foot medical bills these days, so it’s not surprising to see people surrender their sick pets,” he said.
Intel helping doctors
The world’s biggest computer chip maker on Monday dove into the medical market with technology that lets doctors make house calls on patients without being there. Intel Health Guide uses gadgetry and Internet connections to enable medical personnel to monitor the health of chronically ill people from afar. Doctors and nurses can keep tabs on heart functions, blood sugar levels and other health factors of at-home patients and then manage their care remotely, Intel said. “The Health Guide is a step forward in offering more personalized and effective management of chronic health conditions in the home,” Intel Digital Health Group vice president Louis Burns said. Health care services provider Advanced Warning Systems Inc will use the Intel system to monitor retired athletes and military veterans considered high-risk for cardiovascular problems, Intel said.
CRH says earnings will fall
CRH Plc, the world’s second-biggest building materials maker, said yearly earnings will drop more than predicted earlier as the US financial crisis spreads to Europe. Pretax profit will fall by a percentage in the “low to mid-teens,” Dublin-based CRH said yesterday in a Regulatory News Service statement. Construction growth in Poland and Ukraine, which had countered falling Irish and Spanish markets in the first-half, had slowed, it said.