Report: Russia, China Biggest Bribers; Coffee Prices Continue Falling; October Existing Home Sales Slump; China Wants More Help From BHP; Yahoo Closing in on New CEO; FedEx Lowers Guidance 26%; Lehman Selling French Unit for $1; NFL to Cut 150 Jobs
- Companies from Russia and China are most likely to use bribes when conducting business abroad, says a report from Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI), Reuters reported. The least likely to bribe were Belgium and Canada, according to group’s 2008 Bribe Payers Index.
- Four days after rival J.M. Smucker Co. (SJM) cut its list price for Folgers coffee products, Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) announced an immediate 10-cent price cut for its Maxwell House and Yuban ground and instant coffees. It marks the fifth price cut by major U.S. roasters this year, Reuters reported.
- Sales of existing homes fell again in October, says a report from the National Association of Realtors. Its index of pending home resales fell 0.7% to 88.9 from a revised 89.5 in September, Bloomberg reported.
- Smelters in China asked mining companies including BHP Billiton Ltd. (ADR: BHP) to pay 74% more to process copper next year, two sources told Bloomberg. Earlier this week, China – the world’s biggest iron and copper consumer – asked BHP and other mining companies to scale back prices of iron ore by 82%.
- Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) directors are moving in on selecting a candidate for its vacant chief executive officer post, and have gone as far as checking references on a few candidates, sources told The Wall Street Journal. One of the names considered is Arun Sarin, former CEO of Vodafone plc (VOD).
- FedEx Corp. (FDX) warned that it would finish its fiscal year , Dow Jones reported. “Demand for our services weakened sequentially throughout the quarter and global economic trends continue to worsen, substantially reducing our second- half outlook,” Chief Financial Officer Alan B. Graf Jr. said in a prepared statement.
- Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the bank that filed the biggest U.S. bankruptcy, asked a judge to allow it sell its French unit to Nomura Holdings for $1, Bloomberg reported. According to its filing, Lehman was “unable to find an alternate solution or buyer.” And for the price (and liabilities that come along with it), Nomura would get employees, commercial records, information technology, furniture and other assets.
- The National Football League announced it will lay off 150 jobs in the next 60 days to cut costs in the face of recession. The job cuts are within the league offices, not the teams, Reuters reported.