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July 31, 2014

Purina’s new natural brand has ’super foods’ for pets

Filed under: loans, term — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 2:16 am

Nestlé Purina PetCare’s new brand of dog and cat food, Beyond, features natural ingredients, including ’super foods’ such as sweet potato and pumpkin. 

St. Louis-based Purina, a division of Swiss-based Nestlé, said Wednesday that the new Beyond line of natural dog and cat foods are made from meat, poultry or fish as the number one ingredient, with no corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meal or added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Beyond’s ingredients include nutrient rich ’super foods’ such as salmon, sweet potato, pumpkin and cranberries, the company said when announcing the new brand. 

Beyond is being rolled out nationwide at mass and grocery retailers and at pet specialty stores. 

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July 29, 2014

Waste Management selling subsidiary for $1.94B

Filed under: finance, online — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 3:04 pm

HOUSTON (AP) — Waste Management is selling a subsidiary to Energy Capital Partners for $1.94 billion as part of its effort to focus on its core business.

It is selling Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., which owns or runs 17 waste-to-energy facilities and four independent power-producing plants in the U.S. The business also has four ash monofill landfills, three transfer stations and an ongoing development and construction project in the U.K. Wheelabrator’s 2013 revenue totaled about $845 million.

Houston-based Waste Management Inc. said Tuesday it plans to use proceeds from the sale to buy assets related to its core business and for stock repurchases.

The deal is targeted to close later this year. It still needs approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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July 28, 2014

Even Yakuza Can

Filed under: marketing, money — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 12:04 am

Orient (8585) Corp., the Japanese lender at the center of a scandal over loans to gangsters that engulfed Mizuho Financial Group Inc., sold debt at about a fifth of the premium global companies pay, as investors search for yield.

The consumer lender, an affiliate of Mizuho, offered 10 billion yen ($98 million) of five-year notes at 18 basis points over yen swaps earlier this month, in its first public straight bond. That compared with the average spread of 11 basis points for Japanese company debt and 98 for global corporates, according to Bank of America Merill Lynch data.

Unprecedented Bank of Japan stimulus has cut local corporate bond spreads to a seven-year low, prompting investors to seek riskier debt to boost returns. Two top executives at Mizuho resigned posts this year after Japan

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July 26, 2014

Nevada gambling revenue jumps 14 percent in June

Filed under: business, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:20 am

LAS VEGAS • Nevada officials say casino revenues shot up more than 14 percent in June thanks to a banner month on the Las Vegas Strip.

The state Gaming Control Board reported Friday that Nevada casinos brought in about $907 million in June.

Las Vegas Strip casinos pulled in $532 million in June, up more than 22 percent from the same month a year ago. Downtown Las Vegas casino revenues of $41million were up 12 percent.

Reno casino revenues of $48 million were down 3 percent compared with June 2013, while South Lake Tahoe casinos brought in $12 million and were down 2 percent payday loans.

The state collected $44 million in taxes based on the June winnings, which is up less that 1 percent compared with a year earlier.

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July 24, 2014

Wal-Mart names new CEO of US discount division

Filed under: online ads, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 1:08 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says U.S. discount-store chief Bill Simon is stepping down.

The world’s largest retailer has named the head of its Asian business as his replacement.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer says that Greg Foran, 53, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Asia, will succeed Simon.

Simon helmed the Wal-Mart U.S. division since June 2010. The changes will take effect Aug. 9. The company says Simon will be available on a consulting basis for the next six months to ensure a seamless transition Internet Payday loans.

Foran will report directly to Doug McMillon, who took over as president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in February.

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July 23, 2014

Consumer Prices in U.S. Increase as Gasoline Costs Jump - Bloomberg

Filed under: legal, management — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 2:00 am

The cost of living in the U.S. rose in June, paced by a jump in gasoline that is now reversing, bolstering Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen

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July 21, 2014

Former Sino Forest CFO barred from serving as director of public company

Filed under: business, mortgage — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 11:08 am

The Ontario Securities Commission has permanently banned the former chief financial officer of Sino Forest Corp. from serving as a director or officer of a public company.

David Horsley, who served as CFO from 2005 until 2012, has also agreed to pay a $700,000 fine and testify in the ongoing Sino Forest case.

Sino Forest once had a high-flying stock that traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of more than $6 billion, until in 2011 short seller Muddy Waters suggested the forestry company’s sales were a fraud.

The company, which was listed in Canada, had all its operations in China, selling standing timber.

“This is a significant settlement and a significant admission by Mr. Horsley,” said OSC lawyer Hugh Craig at a hearing on Monday.

“This should serve as a message to CFOs operating in unfamiliar business environments” of the need to be vigilant, Craig added.

“He simply didn’t do his job,” he said. “Operations may be over there, but they are regulated under the Ontario Securities Act.”

Panel vice-chair James Turner said chief financial officers play a critical role in the financial reporting of companies.

Horsley failed in his role as CFO, and failed investors and capital markets, Turner said.

In approving the deal, Turner said it was contingent on the settlement of a separate class action lawsuit involving both securities and bond holders.

Judges in Ontario and New York state are scheduled to hear that settlement proposal that Horsley has offered to pay $5.6 million.

Horsley’s lawyer Peter Wardle noted that OSC investigators concluded that his client is not accused of perpetrating any alleged frauds involving Sino Forest.

“These sins, if I can put it that way, are sins of omission as opposed to sins of commission,” Wardle added.

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July 19, 2014

NBA: Cavaliers now willing to include Andrew Wiggins in Kevin Love trade talks

Filed under: loans, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 4:20 pm

The Cleveland Cavaliers have finally shown a willingness to put Andrew Wiggins in a trade for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

While no deal is imminent, this development jump-starts the conversation between the two teams.

Minnesota has been adamant that any deal with the Cavs for Love include Wiggins. Cleveland had been reluctant to include the No. 1 overall pick in June’s draft in trade talks. It remains unclear what else the T’wolves would want in a trade and whether that will be enough to get a deal done.

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Cavs insist they’re not trading Wiggins

Right now, the T’wolves are playing hardball for teams who want the all-star power forward. Cleveland has numerous young players and several future draft picks to offer, but Wiggins is high on Minnesota’s priority list. USA TODAY Sports previously reported the Golden State Warriors balked at including shooting guard Klay Thompson in a trade for Love, but their interest remains.

Love is coming off the best season of his career, averaging 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds a game. He can opt out his contract after this season, meaning teams that look to trade for him may want a commitment that he won’t leave after one year. That option also puts pressure on the T’wolves to trade him before losing him for nothing.

But Wiggins was drafted No. 1 with considerable hype. He is averaging 13.7 points, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks in summer league action the past week and is expected to play well with LeBron James, who signed with the Cavs last weekend.

Love also would be a great fit with James, replicating the stretch big man role played so well by Chris Bosh for James’ Miami Heat’s four consecutive NBA Finals runs. Love played with James for Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics.

As for Wiggins, the 19-year-old Canadian is receiving a crash course in the NBA rumour mill.

Since he arrived in Las Vegas and found out LeBron James was coming to Cleveland with him, Wiggins has heard his name brought up in possible trade scenarios as the Cavaliers pursue Love. Two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the Cavaliers’ position has remained unchanged despite the reports Thursday and that no offer including Wiggins has been made to Minnesota.

“Rumours are rumours. That’s why they call them rumours,” Cavs coach David Blatt said. “Sooner or later in one’s career, you’re going to have to deal with it. If he has to deal with it now, then so be it. It’s summer league. He’s learning everything as he goes along.”

Wiggins scored 21 points in 31 minutes on Thursday night in a loss to the Houston Rockets. He showcased his superior athleticism by creating mismatches and getting to the free throw line at will, making 15 of 20 free throws and getting one jaw-dropping, chase-down block in transition.

Several fans made remarks during the game about the Cavaliers getting Love, but Wiggins was unfazed. He was unavailable to reporters after the game, but Blatt said he felt no need to talk to him about the speculation.

“What you’ve got to like about the kid is that it doesn’t make a difference if it’s the fourth game of summer league in seven or eight days, or if people are keying on him or the crowd has funny things to say to him,” Blatt said. “He goes out there and really plays and has a nice calm about him and a real good demeanour. Andrew’s going to be a high-level player. It’s good to see.”

The Cavaliers and Timberwolves have been engaged in discussions since before the draft for Love, who can opt out of his contract next summer. That stipulation gives Love tremendous influence on where he ends up, and he initially balked at joining a Cavaliers team that appeared to be in rebuilding mode after missing the playoffs and firing coach Mike Brown.

That all changed when James decided last week to leave the Miami Heat and return to Cleveland, where the Akron native played for the first seven seasons of his career. James’ signing changed Love’s mind about going to Cleveland and the Cavaliers again started conversations with the Wolves.

General manager David Griffin, Blatt and owner Dan Gilbert have to this point refused to include Wiggins in any offer.

That has been a deal-breaker for the Wolves, who want Wiggins to headline any package that the Cavs would offer.

It’s not known if James would prefer the Cavs to hold onto Wiggins in any deal for Love, his U.S. Olympic teammate. But what’s certain is that the Cavaliers will take James’ feelings into consideration before making any move. The four-time MVP is hugely influential, and his return to the Cavaliers has restored hope in a franchise that has been down and out since he left for Miami in 2010.

Wiggins has yet to sign his rookie contract, which has led to speculation that the Cavaliers were stalling on that front to make it easier to execute a trade. The minute Wiggins does sign the deal, he cannot be traded for 30 days under league rules.

But keeping him unsigned also gives the Cavaliers more flexibility to pursue free agents. They have already agreed to terms with veteran shooters Mike Miller and James Jones, and have reached out to Ray Allen as well.

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July 18, 2014

Greece Seen in Third Bailout as Bond Return Not Enough - Bloomberg

Filed under: legal, online — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:12 am

Greece

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July 16, 2014

U.S. homebuilder confidence surges in July

Filed under: canada, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 3:32 pm

U.S. homebuilders’ confidence in the housing market surged this month to the highest level since January, reflecting a pickup in sales of new homes and heightened expectations for sales the second half of the year.

The brighter sales outlook suggests home construction could pick up in coming months after a sluggish start this year.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Wednesday rose this month to 53, up four points from a revised reading of 49 in June.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. The latest reading is the first above 50 since January, when it was 56.

Builders’ view of current sales conditions for single-family homes, their outlook for sales over the next six months and traffic by prospective buyers each increased since June.

Higher mortgage rates and the bad weather weighed on home sales in late 2013 and early this year. Harsh winter weather also contributed to a sluggish start to this year’s spring home-selling season.

But sales of new homes have picked up in recent months.

New home sales jumped 18.6 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, the highest level in six years. That followed a 3.7 percent increase in April. The gains came after declines in February and March.

Even with the big overall gain, sales of new homes are still running at just about half the pace of a healthy real estate market.

Still, the recent pickup in sales suggests that the housing recovery may be regaining its footing after slowing earlier this year.

Economists say there is significant pent-up demand for homes as many potential buyers put off purchases over the past few years because of concerns about the economy paydayloans.

Solid job gains this year also bode well for housing.

Employers added 288,000 jobs last month, the fifth straight month of gains above 200,000. The national unemployment rate has slid to 6.1 percent, a 5 1/2-year low.

“An improving job market goes hand-in-hand with a rise in builder confidence,” said David Crowe, the NAHB’s chief economist. “As employment increases and those with jobs feel more secure about their own economic situation, they are more likely to feel comfortable about buying a home.”

That optimism is reflected in the latest NAHB index, which is based on responses from 241 builders.

In the latest survey, builders’ view of current sales conditions for single-family homes rose four points to 57. A measure of traffic by prospective buyers increased three points to 39. And builders’ outlook for sales of single-family homes over the next six months jumped six points to 64, the highest level since September.

Housing, while still a long way from the boom of several years ago, has been recovering over the past two years.

Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to NAHB data.

The builder confidence survey sent shares in U.S. homebuilders higher in morning trading Wednesday. M/I Homes Inc., based in Columbus, Ohio, led the pack. The stock rose 72 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $23.63.

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