St. George Agrees to Takeover; Chile's Pension Funds go Global; Lights Out at LSE; KDB Warned Over Lehman; United Air's Costly Misprint; Consumer Spending Cutback; Oil Traders Eye Ike; P&G Sells Noxzema
- St. George Bank Ltd., Australia's fifth-largest bank, yesterday (Monday) agreed to a revised $14.4 billion takeover offer from larger rival Westpac Banking Corp. (ADR: WPK). St. George shareholders will receive a special dividend of 23 cents per share, worth $133 million in total. Westpac is offered 1.31 of its shares for every share of St. George.
- , The Associated Press said yesterday (Monday). The percentage pension funds are allowed to invest internationally will increase from 30% to 45% as of Oct. 1. The ratio will then be moved up to 50% on Dec. 1, 55% on April 1, 2009, and 60% on Aug. 3, of that year. The measure should help the funds' to become more profitable and keep Chile's peso from rising too much against the U.S. dollar.
- Trading on the London Stock Exchange was suspended for about seven hours yesterday (Monday), as the world's third largest share market struggled with a systems failure. The LSE plans a series of system upgrades and is migrating Italian equities to its trading platform TradElect this month, according to Reuters.
- South Korea's financial regulator yesterday (Monday) urged Korea Development Bank to be cautious in making any investment in Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH) Korea Development Bank " ," Jun Kwang-woo, told The Associated Press. Lehman could post losses of up to $4 billion for the third quarter, and may be looking to raise fresh capital to help offset the losses.
- A 2002 Chicago Tribune story, mistakenly reprinted on a Florida news website, sent shares of United Air Lines Inc. parent company UAL Corp. (UAUA) plunging to a new low of just one cent before trading was halted. The story detailed the airline's Dec. 9, 2002 bankruptcy claim. "United has demanded a retraction from the Sun-Sentinel and is launching an investigation," the Chicago-based carrier said in a statement, Bloomberg News reported.
- Consumer credit increased $4.6 billion in July to $2.59 trillion the Federal Reserve announced yesterday (Monday). The increase was about half of what was expected and a decline from June's increase of $11 billion. Banks remain risk-adverse with tight credit-lending standards, while consumers are paring back on spending as the job market and economic outlook remain uncertain, Bloomberg News reported.
- Crude oil for October delivery increased yesterday (Monday) on the threat of Hurricane Ike in the Gulf of Mexico. Futures traded on NYMEX edged up 11 cents to settle at $106.34 a barrel after earlier trading between $104.70 and $109.89, Reuters reported. Gains were moderated by a strong greenback.
- Alberto-Culver Co. (ACV) announced yesterday (Monday) that it would purchase global rights to the Noxzema skin care brand from The Proctor & Gamble Co. (PG). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but include Noxzema's existing business in the United States, Canada and parts of Latin America, Reuters reported.