Kenya Growth Stalls Quickly; Caterpillar Cuts Pay and Jobs; Wal-Mart Offers $2.66 Billion for Chile’s Biggest Grocer; Walgreen Falls Short, Cuts Opening Plans; Palm Gets $100 Million Injection; JPMorgan Buys UBS Assets; Oil Falls 6%
- Kenya’s economy grew 2.1% in the third quarter, down significantly from the 6.3% gross domestic product growth it posted a year earlier. On top of the global financial crisis, Kenya suffered from post-election violence and a severe drought, Bloomberg reported.
- Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) said it will offer buyouts to some employees and cut white-collar pay by up to 50%. Last week, the heavy equipment maker announced plans to lay off 814 works at its engine assembly plant, Reuters reported.
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) has made a $2.66 billion offer for Chile’s biggest grocery chain, Distribucion y Servicio D&S SA (ADR:DYS). Wal-Mart’s outgoing international chief and soon-to-be CEO Mike Duke said in October that Chile’s economy is strong and growing, Bloomberg reported.
- As its quarterly profits missed estimates, drugstore operator Walgreen Co. (WAG) said it is cutting back on plans to open more stores. Profit fell to $408 million, or 41 cents a share, in its fiscal first quarter ended Nov. 30, Reuters reported.
- Palm, Inc. (PALM) yesterday (Monday) secured a much needed $100 million equity investment from Elevation Partners, a venture capital firm that includes Bono, lead singer for the rock band U2, BetaNews reported. Palm a maker of mobile electronic devices, will use the money to help launch a smartphone that will be compete with Apple's 3G iPhone.
- UBS AG (UBS) will sell its Canadian energy operations and global agriculture business to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Reuters reported. JPMorgan is buying Canadian Energy, UBS' Canadian-based commodities energy business, as well as UBS' London-based Global Agricultural Commodities business.
- Light, sweet crude for February delivery fell $2.45, nearly 6%, on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday (Monday) to settle at $39.91 a barrel. Crude prices have now fallen 70% from their July peak of $147.47 a barrel.