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Showing posts from May 25, 2014

Intercontinental rejected $10 bln offer from U.S. suitor - Sky

The world's largest hotelier, class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), has rejected a 6 billion pound ($10.1 billion) takeover offer from a U.S. bidder, Sky News reported, citing unidentified sources. _0"> Sky said IHG's board met a few weeks ago to consider the offer, but turned it down on the grounds it was too low. A spokeswoman for IHG, which runs 4,700 class="mandelbrot_refrag"> hotels with brands such as Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Intercontinental, declined to comment on the report. Sky said the identity of the bidder was unclear, but cited analysts as saying it might have been Starwood class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Hotels & Resorts or a specialist investment fund such as Starwood Capital.   true       Sky said IHG was braced for the bidder to return with a new offer, or for a rival suitor to come forward. ($1 = 0.5938 British Pounds) (Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; Editing by Mark Potte

DEALTALK-Some elephant hunting tips for Warren Buffett

Far be it from us to offer tips to class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Warren Buffett , the most celebrated stock picker of his age, but here goes: The Oracle of Omaha has suggested he will hunt for his next "elephant" - his favorite word for big acquisitions -- among energy companies. That could dovetail with the bet he made in 2009 when he bought Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, which has turned into an indirect play on the U.S. oil production renaissance: BNSF moves about a third of oil-by-rail, a surging segment of freight rail.   true       So, we have some ideas. Reuters screened for U.S. and Canadian companies with relatively low debt and market capitalizations above $5 billion, among other criteria. First, because Buffett's class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Berkshire Hathaway has about $49 billion to spend, he's said he's looking at capital intensive companies, which offer plenty of chances to put that money to work. He might like a

AOL to invest in Israeli start-ups

class="mandelbrot_refrag"> AOL Inc said on Sunday it is starting a programme in class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Israel to assist start-ups, and that it will invest at least $100,000 in as many as 10 projects at a time. _0"> The Internet giant already has a development centre in class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Israel , and its new project, called Nautilus, is meant to give "maximum freedom to entrepreneurs" and "grant them access to all the class="mandelbrot_refrag"> tools and connections of a global company", said Hanan Laschover, chief executive of class="mandelbrot_refrag"> AOL Israel. AOL will escort each start-up, which will be chosen from a variety of fields that are connected to its global activities, for a period of a year, the company said. The first investment will be in Take&Make, AOL said in a statement, a start-up that has developed a platform for "do-it-yourself"

Business aviation picks up, but jet surplus persists

class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Business aircraft are taking to the skies again as many economies around the world improve, but a surplus of jets delivered just before the recession means the equivalent of 2,750 jets remain parked in hangars. An excess of jets is depressing prices for planes, particularly older ones, and clouding the outlook for manufacturers of new jets, such as Bombardier Inc, Gulfstream and Cessna. Some companies are cutting back on corporate jet travel and reducing executives' use of corporate jets for personal trips.   true       With so many jets not being flown, businesses are finding it more difficult to justify new purchases, said Rolland Vincent, president of Rolland Vincent Associates, a jet consulting firm that works with Utica, New York-based JetNet. "It's like having a lot of cars in your driveway," Vincent said. "If you don't use them that much, you're not going to be out shopping for another one." The

FEATURE-Quality issues push e-cigarette production to U.S. from China

Some of the leading U.S. producers of electronic cigarettes are moving their manufacturing to the United States from class="mandelbrot_refrag"> China in response to growing concern about quality and the prospect of tighter federal regulations. In recent weeks, some of the best-selling U.S. e-cigarette companies, including closely held Mistic and White Cloud, announced that they would move production to new, highly automated U.S. factories that would enable them to track ingredients and quality more closely. As a fringe benefit, they even expect costs to be lower than in class="mandelbrot_refrag"> China , the country that invented the battery-powered cartridges that produce a nicotine-laced inhalable vapor. "People are concerned about quality," said Bonnie Herzog, a senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, who expects more manufacturing to shift to the United States.   true       "There is varying quality among all these different brands

In North American rail towns, some try to stop oil trains

Albany, New York Sheriff Craig Apple assured a room of concerned citizens that county emergency crews were prepared to handle an oil-train accident involving three or four tank cars. Firefighters have been training to combat railcar fires with foam, and evacuation plans are detailed in a 500-page emergency response plan, Apple told residents in a May 12 address. But he was blunt about the potential impact of a larger derailment: "Look, let's face it, there's going to be mayhem."   true       Albany's tracks handle as much as a fourth of the oil pumped from North Dakota's booming Bakken Shale, or up to several 100-car trains per day, each carrying 70,000 barrels. It is one of several spots along North America's new oil-by-rail corridors where residents and officials are restless, following six fiery derailments in the past 10 months. Some want to limit or halt the traffic, fearful that existing precautions will not prevent deadly blasts, air and water

'X-Men' overpowers 'Godzilla' on way to holiday weekend win

The "X-Men" mutant superheroes smashed into U.S. and Canadian theaters and collected $90.7 million in ticket sales through Sunday, keeping monster hit "Godzilla" at bay and heading toward a decisive win over a long holiday weekend. "X-Men: Days of Future Past" was expected to bring in $110 million by the end of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday on Monday, distributor 20th Century Fox said. The movie has already earned a global total of $261.8 million after opening at No. 1 in all 119 countries around the world. Last week's winner, monster movie remake "Godzilla", dropped to second place with $31.4 million through Sunday, according to estimates from box office tracking firm Rentrak. Its sales were projected to reach $39 million by Monday.   true       Romantic comedy "Blended" claimed the No. 3 spot, taking in $14.2 million and on pace for about $17 million through Monday. "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is the seventh movi

RPT-Wall St Week Ahead-Fear strikes out on Wall Street

Whatever investors are worried about right now, those concerns are not showing up in Wall Street's fear gauge. That scares some. On the other hand, it more than likely means that class="mandelbrot_refrag"> stocks will keep taking things slow and steady. The class="mandelbrot_refrag"> CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, closed on Friday at 11.36, its lowest level since March 2013. That means investors see less risk ahead, particularly with the class="mandelbrot_refrag"> S&P 500 ending at a record high again on Friday.   true       With the typically slow summer months just ahead and little on the horizon to shake the market from its current course, investors could be looking at even lower VIX levels, some analysts said. "It's not that there's no likelihood of a correction. It's that people don't perceive anything to derail the train at this point," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at class="m

Filling up on petrol station offices

Seeking a place to work out of the office that is quieter than a bustling coffee shop and provides drinks, printers, Wi-Fi and even petrol? _0"> Regus, a provider of ready-to-use office space, thinks it has the answer. It has teamed up with Shell class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Germany to open up workplace hubs and lounges in 70 petrol stations in and around Berlin that will provide Wi-Fi hotspots, scanners, printers, phone charging and even meeting rooms, depending on the space available.   true       "You already see people working in class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Starbucks , hotel lobbies. They want facilities they're not getting there though, such as printers, phone charging, the ability to sit somewhere quiet and make a phone call," Phil Kemp, global managing director for Regus Third Place told Reuters. The hubs are what Regus terms the 'third place' for workers, the first and second being the office and the home. Working in

U.S. appeals court revives lawsuit vs United Airlines over wheelchair

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday revived a lawsuit against United Continental Holdings Inc's United class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Airlines that was brought by a woman who claimed she was not promptly provided a wheelchair in an airport when she asked for one. The opinion, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, said federal law did not pre-empt the woman's personal injury claims under state law. A representative for United could not immediately be reached for comment.   true       Mark Meuser, an attorney for plaintiff Michelle Gilstrap, who has difficulty walking, said some lower court judges had disagreed about whether individuals should be able to bring claims for injuries in an airplane or terminal. "This is a really big deal for disabled Americans across the country," Meuser said. Gilstrap had difficulty walking due to a collapsed disc in her back and osteoarthritis, according to the court opinion. During two separate plane

Norway's Arctic idyll shivers at oil plans

Oil companies seeking new class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Arctic areas for exploration face a battle with environmentalists, fishermen and hotel owners over Norwegian islands where jagged snow-capped peaks rise sheer from the sea. With oil production falling to a 25-year low this year and the state depending on oil revenues, Norway's ruling Labour Party is warming to drilling in Lofoten's pristine waters, setting up the issue as the year's biggest political fight ahead of elections in September. "We've already got the winning lottery ticket by living in class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Norway . We shouldn't want to be even richer," said Erling Santi, a fisherman in Svolvaer, Lofoten's main town.   true       "Oil drilling could drive the fish away," said Santi who is also the managing director of Saga Fish, a cod packing plant. Norway is one of the world's most prosperous nations with per capital GDP in excess of $

Carnival puts cruise fleet under microscope after ship fire

class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Carnival Corp ( id="symbol_CCL.N_0"> CCL.N ) ( id="symbol_CCL.L CCL.L ) has launched a comprehensive review of its entire fleet after a fire crippled one of its ships last month, and will share its findings across the industry, Carnival class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Cruise Lines ' chief executive told a conference on Tuesday. _1"> The engine-room fire disabled the Bahamian-flagged Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Mexico , leaving it adrift with more than 4,000 passengers and crew aboard. The accident made headlines around the world and comedians had a field day with the ensuing plumbing problems. "We've started a comprehensive review of our entire fleet," Carnival class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Cruise Lines President and Chief Executive Gerry Cahill told the annual Cruise Shipping Miami conference.   true       "It will take us a

London keeps global edge as top transport finance hub

London remains the top financing centre for the global transport industry, although it faces stiff competition from New York and capitals in Asia Pacific as companies seek to tap more funding sources, a survey showed on Friday. Some 37 per cent of respondents from the global aviation, rail and shipping sectors ranked London as the key financial centre for transport, followed by New York at 14 percent and Singapore at 7 percent, the survey by international law firm Norton Rose found. "London and New York remain key financial centres for the transport industry but are looking over their shoulders at Asia which is growing in importance," said Harry Theochari, global head of transport at Norton Rose.   true       Of those canvassed, 43 percent from the rail industry said London was most favoured as a financing hub, followed by 40 percent in the shipping sector and 31 percent in aviation. The annual survey by Norton Rose, now in its fourth year, is one of the transport secto

BlackBerry plans security feature for Android, iPhone

BlackBerry will offer technology to separate and make secure both work and personal data on mobile devices powered by class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Google Inc's Android platform and by Apple Inc's iOS operating system, the company said on Thursday. The new feature could help BlackBerry sell high-margin services to enterprise clients even if many, or all, of their workers are using smartphones made by BlackBerry's competitors. That may be crucial for the company as it has lost a vast amount of market share to the iPhone and to Android devices, such as Samsung class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Electronics Co's ( id="symbol_005930.KS_0"> 005930.KS ) Galaxy line. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said he expects BlackBerry's device management class="mandelbrot_refrag"> software to gain traction this year, and boost revenue next year.   true       "Supporting devices with the best, most secure, and easiest-to-use mobi

48 hours in Rochester, New York

Synonymous with film photography, lilacs and classical music, Rochester offers an unusual array of attractions for a mid-sized U.S. city that brought industrial prowess to a scenic river gorge on Lake Ontario's southern shore. From top-ranked golf courses and national-landmark house museums to a children's emporium of play and America's oldest municipal park-garden cemetery, the city in western New York is crammed with surprises for visitors of all interests. Its glacier-carved linchpin is a trio of waterfalls trumpeting the Genesee River's thunderous descent into Lake Ontario. Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a short stay in Rochester (pop. 210,855), variously known over two centuries as the Flour City, the Flower City and, less so of late, the World's Image Center.   true       FRIDAY 5:30 p.m. - Dinner at Dinosaur Barbecue (www.dinosaurbarbque.com), a honky tonk rib joint tucked into a former railroad station ov