Foreclosures Continue Falling; Chinalco Invests $19.5 Billion in Rio; 4Q Profit Falls for Viacom; Coca-Cola Beats Expectations; GM May to Bail on China Venture; Australia Senate Nixes Senate
- Widespread foreclosures caused home prices to fall in 134 U.S. metropolitan areas. Foreclosure filings eclipsed 250,000 in January, their tenth straight month above that figure, Bloomberg reported.
- Aluminum Corps of China Ltd. (ADR: ACH), China's state-owned aluminum group, will invest $19.5 billion in debt-heavy Australian mining company, Rio Tinto PLC (RTP). More than $12 billion will be spent on mining assets and the rest will buy bonds convertible into shares, Reuters reported. The deal will give China unprecedented access to much-needed commodities and raw materials.
- Media conglomerate Viacom Inc. (VIA) said its fourth-quarter profit fell 69% as the recession sapped advertising revenue. "It is clear that while as cable network owners we are in a more favorable media segment than most, ," Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said on a conference call, the Associated Press reported.
- Fourth-quarter profit for Coca-Cola Co. (KO) fell 18%, but beat analysts' expectations. The company reported net income of $995 million, or 43 cents a share, down from $1.21 billion, or 52 cents, a year earlier. "They've been very focused on taking costs out now that they have a strong product portfolio," Erin Smith, an analyst with Argus Research in New York, told Bloomberg.
- Sources told Reuters that General Motors Corp. (GM) is talking with China's SAIC Motor Corp. about selling part of its stake in their decades-old joint venture. The 50-50 venture builds and markets Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet models in China.
- A $27 billion (A$42 billion) stimulus plan was rejected by Australia's Senate yesterday (Thursday). Australia is heading toward its first recession in 18 years. Adamant on passing the stimulus, the government will make further concessions before the measure is voted on again, Bloomberg reported.