Global Investing Roundups

Circuit City Falls, Cuts Dividend; Mitsubishi Working on Plug-In Line; Continental and United Buddy Up; Western Oil Back in Iraq; Citi CFO Sees More Trouble; Bear Stearns Execs Arrested; Transocean and BP Extend Drilling Contract; Bank of America to Takeover Countrywide by July

  • In reporting a $164.8 million loss (or $1 per share), electronics retailer Circuit City Stores Inc. (CC) suspended its 4-cent dividend. The company also forecast a wider second-quarter loss but said it expects a "gradual recovery" in the second half, Reuters reported.
  • Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (PINK: MMTOF) plans to introduce a line of plug-in hybrids as soon as 2013. The company's all-electric i MiEV minicar plans to be charged from a standard electric outlet. About 1,000 of them will go on sale to fleet customers starting April 1, 2009, Bloomberg reported.
  • Continental Airlines Inc. (CAL) and United Air Lines Inc. announced yesterday (Thursday) that despite deciding not to merge in April, the two carriers would form an alliance that includes linking their networks and operations worldwide, The New York Times reported. As part of the deal, Continental will join the Star Alliance, of which United is already a member.
  • Western oil majors will return to Iraq for the first time in 36 years, The New York Times reported yesterday (Thursday). Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Chevron Corp. (CVX), Royal Dutch Shell PLC (ADR: RDS.A, RDS.B), BP PLC (ADR: BP) and Total SA (ADR: TOT) are at the forefront for contracts on the countries largest oil fields and are currently in talks with the government's oil ministry, MarketWatch reported.
  • Matthew Tannin and Ralph Cioffi, two former Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. (BSC) managers, were arrested yesterday (Thursday) on securities fraud and other charges linked to the collapse of a hedge fund that bet heavily on subprime mortgages before the market collapsed, The Associated Press reported. The FBI announced Thursday that it had arrested about 300 real estate industry players since March.
  • Transocean Inc. (RIG) said yesterday (Thursday) that BP PLC (ADR: BP) extended an ultra-deepwater drilling contract for five more years, The Associated Press reported. The extension for the semi-submersible vessel GSF Development Driller II begins in November and is expected to generate up to $1.06 billion in revenue over the life of the contract.
  • Bank of America Corp. (BAC) expects to complete its acquisition of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. (CFC) by July 1, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters yesterday (Thursday). Bank of America has agreed to pay about $4 billion for Countrywide.