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Vale Digs Xstrata; Vodaphone Expands In India; Ping An Bolsters War Chest; Israel Goes Green; Halliburton Inks a Deal with PeMex; U.K. Bails Out Northern Rock; Nautilus Opens Up a Credit Line
- Vale (RIO), the world's largest producer of iron ore, said it has held talks to buy mining rival Xstrata PLC for a proposed $61 billion, Bloomberg reports. The company said in a statement that talks haven't produced "any material result yet" and that "the current conditions prevailing in the global financial markets may constrain the realization of a major strategic move."
- England-based telecom company Vodafone Group PLC (VOD) said it plans to invest $6 billion over the next three years to gain traction in India, the world's hottest mobile phone market, the Economic Times reported. The company currently has 40 million subscribers in India and has set a target of 100 million.
- Ping An Insurance Co. Ltd. (PINK: PIAIF), China's second-largest insurer, hopes to raise almost $22 billion to finance aggressive foreign acquisition plans in the biggest-ever share sale in mainland China, the Financial Times reported. According to the article, Ping An said proceeds from the fund raising will be used for acquisitions that are "significantly beneficial to the group's expansion strategies and operation efficiencies" and "compatible" with its current insurance, banking and asset management activities.
- Israel's government outlined plans yesterday (Monday) for a nationwide electric car network. The privately funded plan includes the building of 500,000 recharging points and battery-swap stations for electric cars in the next 18 months. According to BusinessWeek, the network should be completed by 2011.
- Halliburton Co. (HAL) said yesterday (Monday) that it has secured a three-year, $683 million contract with Mexico's state-owned oil monopoly, Petroleos Mexicanosto, to manage the drilling and completion of 58 land wells in the country's southern region. Cris Gaut, president of Halliburton's drilling and evaluation division, told the that the company's aim is to help Pemex "overcome a range of challenging drilling situations."
- The British government has outlined a plan to bail out ailing mortgage lender Northern Rock PLC by issuing government-guaranteed bonds to repay the tens of billions in emergency loans from the Bank of England. As the , the move reduces the amount of capital prospective bidders would need to raise to takeover the troubled mortgage lender because they will no longer face an obligation to pay back more than $49 billion to the central bank.
- Fitness equipment company Nautilus Inc. (NLS) has finalized a $100 million line of credit with Bank of America Corp. (BAC). According to BizJournals.com the deal – first announced Jan. 4 – is an asset-based five-year loan that can be expanded to $125 million. The cash will reportedly be used for operating flexibility.