Saturday, July 31, 2010

Business - 31 July 2010

  • Countries with the Biggest 'Shadow Economies'
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 08:01:16 -0700
  • Eurazeo Picks Carlyle for Exclusive Talks on B&B
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 07:42:11 -0700
    Eurazeo SA, France’s largest publicly traded private equity firm, said it’s in exclusive talks to sell B&B Hotels, the budget chain it bought five years ago, to Carlyle Group.
  • BP may sell German gas stations for $2.6 billion: report
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 07:35:24 -0700
    VIENNA (Reuters) - BP Plc is seeking to sell its German petrol station chain Aral for around 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion), German magazine Wirtschaftswoche reported on Saturday, citing investment bankers familiar with BP's plans.

  • Tax credits and child trusts
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 07:25:49 -0700
    In this week's Your Money Sally Eden looks at tax credits and child trust funds.
  • Consumers Step Back; U.S. Cedes Energy Race: Commentary Review
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 07:15:10 -0700
    (The following are excerpts from the past week’s Bloomberg News columns. For full text of any column, click on the command below the writer’s name. Opinions are those of the columnists.)
  • Power cuts cripple emirate of Sharjah
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 07:02:21 -0700
    Power cuts in the emirate of Sharjah have been causing a raft of problems for businesses, with whole districts having to be shut down.
  • The Top Secrets Of Executive Headhunters
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 07:00:00 -0700
    Trade secrets and what you can learn from top-level recruiters
  • China says it tops Japan as No. 2 economy
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 06:46:23 -0700
    China has surpassed Japan to become the world's second largest economy, lagging only behind the United States, a Chinese government official said in remarks published on Friday.
  • Eurazeo in exclusive B&B Hotels talks with Carlyle
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 06:38:22 -0700
    PARIS (Reuters) - French financial holding firm Eurazeo said on Saturday it is in exclusive talks to sell its B&B Hotels chain to U.S. private equity firm the Carlyle Group.

  • ICICI Bank Profit Rises 17% After Paring Provisions
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 06:13:00 -0700
    ICICI Bank Ltd., India’s second- biggest lender, said first-quarter profit rose 17 percent, as it cut provisions and increased fee income.
  • UAE's ADCB posts Q2 loss, Dubai World exposure weighs
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 06:00:37 -0700
    ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank said on Saturday it had 6.6 billion dirhams ($1.8 billion) worth of exposure to indebted state conglomerate Dubai World and posted a second-quarter loss.
  • RBI chief briefs fin min on inflation
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 06:00:26 -0700
    NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Reserve Bank of India Governor Duvvuri Subbarao on Saturday briefed the country's finance minister (FM) on the current inflationary situation but gave no details of the meeting.
  • ICICI Q1 net meets f'cast; sees FY11 credit up 15 pct
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:50:26 -0700
    MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's ICICI Bank met expectations with a 17 percent rise in quarterly net profit, and forecast 15 percent credit growth in the year to March 2011 as loan demand from corporate and mortgage borrowers remain strong.
  • Tax credit repayments 'to soar'
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:39:55 -0700
    Many more people will face having to pay back some of the money paid to them as tax credits because of Budget changes, experts say.
  • Droid X is the new Android champ
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:30:41 -0700
  • For sale: Dennis Hopper's compound
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:26:21 -0700
  • Worst job on Earth up for grabs
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:20:09 -0700
    It could quite possibly be called the worst job on Earth -- and the position is open.
  • Stocks: Best monthly gain in a year
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:17:06 -0700
    Despite a mixed performance on Friday, stocks booked the best monthly gain in a year, with the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 both rising nearly 7% in July.
  • J&K Bank Q1 net up 23 pct at Rs 145 cr
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:16:28 -0700
    Private sector lender J&K Bank reported a growth of 23 per cent in net profit at Rs 145.4 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, over the same period in FY10. The Srinagar-based bank clocked a profit of Rs 118.1 crore in the year-ago period. Total income of the bank rose to Rs 959.4 crore, up 7.4 per cent, from Rs 893.2 crore in the corresponding quarter last year, as per a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange. The total interest earned during the April-June period stood at Rs 865.7 crore, as against Rs 771.5 crore last year. The ...
  • Dena Bank revises rates on its NRE, FCNR (B) deposits
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:15:19 -0700
    Public sector Dena Bank said that it has lowered interest rates on its non-resident external (NRE) and foreign currency non-resident (FCNR (B)) dollar-denominated deposits. The revised rates come into effect from August 1, a press release issued here stated. Interest on NRE rupee term deposits for a tenure of one year and above but less than two years has been lowered to 2.79 per cent from 2.92 per cent, while that on two-years and above but less than three years has been lowered to 2.49 per cent from 2.72 per cent. For a period of three years,
  • UBI hikes deposit rates by up to 1%
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:14:23 -0700
    Taking a cue from the Reserve Bank s monetary policy actions, leading public sector lender Union Bank of India today hiked its lending and deposit rates effective from August 4. The bank has increased its deposit rates by 0.25-1 per cent across various maturities. It has also upped the Benchmark Prime Lending Rates (BPLR) by 0.5 per cent to 12.25 per cent from 11.75 per cent, a release said here. With the increase, one-year maturity deposits will now attract a rate of 6.75 per cent from 6.5 per cent earlier. Also, rates for short-term deposits
  • ICICI Q1 net up 17%, meets forecast
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:12:52 -0700
    ICICI Bank India s No. 2 lender, posted a 17 percent rise in quarterly net profit, meeting forecasts, on strong corporate and retail loan demand in a rapidly growing economy. Indian banks including bigger rival State Bank of India are seeing an improvement in asset quality as consumer loan defaults slow in an economy forecast to grow about 8.5 percent in the current year ending next March. ICICI said its net profit in April-June, its fiscal first quarter, rose to 10.26 billion rupees ($221 million) from 8.78 billion a year earlier. A Reuters poll
  • BoI Q1 net up 24% at Rs 725 cr
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:11:39 -0700
    Public sector lender Bank of India today reported a 24 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 725.13 crore for the first quarter ended June 30. Total income of the bank rose to Rs 5407.62 crore in the April-June quarter, from Rs 5,023 crore in the corresponding period a year ago, BoI said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. The bank s interest income rose over 10 per cent to Rs 4,821.72 crore, while the interest expenditure went up marginally to Rs 3,081.26 crore.
  • SJVNL's Q1 net sales up 7 pct
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:10:40 -0700
    State-run hydel power plant Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam has recorded over 7 per cent growth in net sales in June quarter compared to the same period last year. Net sales during the quarter increased to Rs 524.98 crore from Rs 489.32 crore June quarter last fiscal, while net profit increased to Rs 290.76 crore against Rs 285.30 crore last year. The Earnings Per Share during the quarter marginally increased by one paise to 70 from 69 paise. The company had earned a net profit of Rs 972.74 crore in 2009-10 and had set a record by generating 7,019 million
  • U.S., India formally sign nuclear reprocessing pact
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:10:26 -0700
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and India on Friday formally signed an agreement on reprocessing spent nuclear fuel that U.S. officials hope will allow American firms a share of India's $150 billion nuclear energy market.
  • US eco growth 'welcome sign': Obama
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:10:06 -0700
    President Barack Obama said that four consecutive quarters of US economic growth is a welcome sign of recovery but more was needed to put unemployed Americans back to work. Speaking to workers at a Chrysler plant after the publication of second quarter growth figures that were slightly worse than expected, Obama recalled that when he took office in early 2009 the economy was shrinking at a rate of 6 per cent. So that means it s now been growing again for one full year. Our economy is growing again instead of shrinking. And that s a welcome sign
  • Saudi Shares Fluctuate on Low Volume; Samba Drops, Rajhi Gains
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 04:22:11 -0700
    Saudi Arabian shares fluctuated between gains and losses on the first day of the week as the Tadawul All Share Index headed for a monthly gain, following flat trading in U.S. and European shares.
  • Obama Says ‘Tough Decisions’ on Automaker Aid Now Paying Off
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 04:15:11 -0700
    President Barack Obama said the “tough decisions” he made to give almost $60 billion in aid to the U.S. auto industry saved a million jobs and led to the strongest period of growth for automakers in a decade.
  • Credit demand seen up 15 pct in FY11: ICICI Bank CEO
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 03:40:27 -0700
    MUMBAI (Reuters) - ICICI Bank , India's second-largest lender, expects credit demand to grow by 15 percent in the year to March 2011, Chief Executive Chanda Kochhar said on Saturday.
  • Sanofi’s Genzyme Bid May Need to Reach $80 to Win Investors
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 03:34:14 -0700
    Sanofi-Aventis SA may have to pay at least $80 a share, or $21.3 billion, to acquire genetic-disease drugmaker Genzyme Corp. as activist directors drive up the price, investors in the U.S. biotechnology company say.
  • ICICI Q1 net up 17 pct; fee income rises
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 03:30:26 -0700
    MUMBAI (Reuters) - ICICI Bank , India's No. 2 lender, met analysts' expectations with a 17 percent increase in quarterly profit, bolstered by rise in fee income and reduction in bad loan levels in a fast-growing economy.
  • JAL to spend $2.8 bln to procure 65 aircrafts-Jiji
    Sat, 31 Jul 2010 02:30:27 -0700
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan Airlines plans to spend 241.5 billion yen ($2.8 billion) in the next five years to procure 65 aircrafts as it rejigs its fleet toward smaller, more fuel-efficient airplanes, Jiji news agency reported on Saturday.
  • Chevron reports record Q2 profits in wake of recovering world economy
    Fri, 30 Jul 2010 22:17:09 -0700
    Chevron Corporation said on Friday that its second quarter earnings saw three-fold increases as the company pointed to improved refining margins and solid market prices for both oil and natural gas as major contributors to the impressive performances.
  • Disney let go of Miramax division, collects more than half-billion dollars in return
    Fri, 30 Jul 2010 21:18:34 -0700
    Walt Disney Company announced on Friday that it is all set to turnover its Miramax Films division to Filmyard Holdings consortium for a total amount of $US660 million or $A732.56 million, adding that the deal should be finalised by the latter part of 2010 once regulatory approval has been granted.
  • Wall Street marks best month in a year in July
    Fri, 30 Jul 2010 17:06:01 -0700
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed little changed on Friday, but Wall Street wrapped up its best month in a year after the earnings season rounded the final turn with a group of strong results that offset the impact of poor economic data.

  • Claridge's hotel owner looks to US private equity for help
    Fri, 30 Jul 2010 15:38:57 -0700
    The owner of Claridge's and The Connaught is close to finalising an emergency £600m restructuring that will see the private US property manager Westbrook Partners become a leading investor in the prestigous hotels group.
  • How Much of the Reality Show is Scripted?
    Fri, 30 Jul 2010 15:00:00 -0700
    Fiction is so last century. Reality TV now takes centre stage on our TV screens. Varun Duggirala, who produced Get Gorgeous 5, Launchpad 3 and Kidnap, tells us what really goes on behind the 'reality'.
  • Jobs data, earnings latest test for stocks
    Fri, 30 Jul 2010 14:46:17 -0700
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks are unlikely to break above a key technical level next week unless monthly jobs data and consumer company results paint a more promising picture of the recovery.

  • Bernanke recouped personal losses in 2009
    Fri, 30 Jul 2010 14:25:27 -0700
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's personal finances recovered in 2009, disclosure forms released by the central bank on Friday showed.

  • Disney to sell Miramax for more than $660 million
    Fri, 30 Jul 2010 14:15:40 -0700
    LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co has struck a deal to sell Miramax, the studio behind such films as "Trainspotting" and "No Country for Old Men," for more than $660 million to a group that includes construction magnate Ron Tutor and investment firm Colony Capital LLC.

  • Imports slow Q2 growth as business spending surges
    Fri, 30 Jul 2010 14:06:04 -0700
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth slowed in the second quarter as companies invested heavily in equipment from abroad and the pace of consumer spending eased, raising concerns about the recovery in the rest of 2010.

  • Stocks finish narrowly mixed in erratic trading session, but July finishes as best performing-month in a year
    Fri, 30 Jul 2010 13:49:54 -0700
    Stocks finish narrowly mixed in an erratic trading session, but July finishes as best performing-month in a year, with the Dow rising more than 7 percent. A slowdown in second-quarter GDP growth drove equities downward in opening moments of trading, but stocks recovered and seesawed for much of the day.
  • You don't have to be Sir David Attenborough to spot the carnage at British Airways
    Fri, 30 Jul 2010 13:21:38 -0700
    Another quarter, another roaring success for British Airways. It may have tested its passengers' faith with 23 strike days. But the Wildlife Trust can spot a winner when it sees one.
  • Double-dip feared as US economic growth loses pace
    Fri, 30 Jul 2010 12:55:44 -0700
    Fear of a double-dip grips investors after US growth is shown to have contracted sharply in the second quarter.
  • Rentokil boss will have to work hard to see off the pests
    Fri, 30 Jul 2010 12:27:39 -0700
    Luckily, Alan Brown has a fine sense of humour. He's the man with the huge aerosol, drafted into Rentokil Initial as its new chief executive in May 2008 when investors found pests lurking in every corner of the business.

New About Google - 31 July 2010

  • Google Apps highlights – 7/30/2010

    July 30, 2010

    This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label “Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

    Over the last couple of weeks, we introduced several new capabilities in Google Docs for documents and drawings, and added the ability for organizations to tailor Google Apps to meet the needs of different groups within their organizations. We also launched a new version of Google Apps to meet the security and policy needs of government agencies in the U.S.

    Document translation

  • Private scraps on orkut!

    July 30, 2010

    A few weeks ago we launched some changes to scraps on orkut, but we heard your comments and went back to the drawing board. We've finished our homework, and here you can see what we created:

    Want to keep something in secret?
    Now you can choose to send a private scrap to a friend. On the new orkut, before posting a scrap, just change its visibility to "private", and that scrap will remain visible only to you and the person receiving the scrap, so it stays completely secret.

    If you don’t change the default options

  • Swivel Viewer, an open source embeddable album viewer

    July 29, 2010

    A while back, we noticed that lots of sites were starting to show 360 degree views of their products.

    So a few months ago we added a feature to Picasa Web Albums that lets you flip through the photos in an album in “Full Screen View” or “Slideshow” mode by dragging left and right on the current photo. This works especially well if you put an object on a turntable, but it also works fine for other albums, like our featured shots from the 2010 Winter games.

    The embedded album viewer also supports this feature:

    So any albums you've

  • Upload limit increases to 15 minutes for all users

    July 29, 2010

    We want YouTube to be the best place to upload video. Without question, the number one requested feature by our creators is to upload videos longer than 10 minutes. We’ve heard you, and today we’re pleased to announce that we’ve increased the upload limit to 15 minutes.

    We encourage you to take full advantage of this new time limit by making a video of your “15 minutes of fame.” Imagine that this video is all the world will ever know about you: what would you want to communicate? What will be the enduring stamp you’ve left on us all? Tag your

  • Notes from useR! 2010

    July 29, 2010

    R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics, used by a growing number of economists, engineers, and data analysts every day at Google. We’ve even published our R Style Guide on Google Code. The R community has done a lot of great work with Google APIs, such as integrating the R programming language with Google Earth, Protocol Buffers, and Google Docs.

    I've just returned from the annual useR! conference for the open source R programming language. This year the conference attracted nearly 500