Investment News Briefs

With our investment news briefs, Money Morning provides investors with a quick overview of the most important investing news stories from all around the world.

FedEx Profit Drops; Irish Banks Rally; China Green-Lights IPOs; World Bank: Emerging Markets Vulnerable; Petrobras Upping Investment Plan; DuPont Expects Emerging Market Sales Decline; Discover Beats Earning Estimates; Cuomo Pension Probe Ends in Settlement;

  • Package deliverer FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) – a bellwether of the U.S. economy – reported a 53% drop in profit for the quarter ended Aug. 31, and said it sees signs of stability in the “modestly improving global economy,” Reuters reported. FedEx also said it is planning a 5.9% average increase to U.S. shipping rates for domestic and export services, effective Jan. 4, 2010.
  • Ireland’s government unveiled more details of its plan to buy billions of euros and risky property loans, saying it plans to create a “bad bank” that’ll buy loans in exchange for government debt, which will in turn be used as collateral with the European Central Bank, MarketWatch reported. News of the plan surged shares of Allied Irish Banks (NYSE ADR: AIB) and Bank of Ireland (NYSE ADR: IRE), both of which will sell these risky loans to the government.
  • The China Securities Regulatory Commission green-lighted initial public offerings for seven companies on a new, Shenzhen-based board meant for start-up companies, Bloomberg News reported citing a China National Radio report. According to the report, small- and medium-sized companies hoping to land a spot on the board are required to have a minimum annual net income of $1.5 million (10 million yuan) in the previous two years or $750,000 (5 million yuan) in the most recent year, and sales of at least $7.5 million (50 million yuan).
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the World Bank’s managing director, said emerging market economies will face a weak recovery and limited growth, Reuters reported. "So far there have not been any major policy reversals in emerging markets...recovery is going to be weak, growth slow for the medium term," Okonjo-Iweala said at an emerging markets conference. "Vulnerability to global confidence crises will continue to define emerging markets as an asset class."
  • Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), Brazil’s state-owned oil titan, said it might increase its plan to $174.4 billion over the next five years because of development in the pre-salt region. “As we develop new fields, more money will be needed,” Chief Financial Officer Almir Barbassa told Bloomberg, without providing details. “We are not reducing capital expenditures on existing concessions to do what is needed in the pre-salt. We are adding.”
  • E.i du Pont de Nemours & Co. (NYSE: DD) said it expects its emerging-market sales to decline 10% in 2009 compared to the $9 billion in sales in 2008. But in 2012, the company expects emerging market sales to grow to about $13 billion, MarketWatch reported. "The economies in these regions are growing significantly faster than developed markets, particularly for the kind of businesses that DuPont is in," said Thomas Connelly, DuPont's executive vice president and chief innovation officer.
  • Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) beat earnings for its fiscal third quarter ended Aug. 31, a result of loan losses growing less than anticipated as well as cost-cutting measures, Reuters reported. Excluding an after-tax gain of $287 million, the sixth-largest U.S. credit card issuer posted a profit of 52 cents a share. Analysts polled by Reuters estimated a loss of 12 cents per share.
  • Falconhead Capital LLC and several other private equity firms agreed to pay about $1.3 million to settle a corruption probe by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, people familiar with the case told Bloomberg. The firms – which help manage the state’s pension fund – also agreed to adopt a code of conduct that limits on campaign contributions to officials who influence investments and bans allowance of third-party intermediaries to obtain investments from public pension funds.