Gulf oil spill: Halliburton says destroyed evidence
Halliburton, the US oil services giant, has admitted destroying evidence relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst such disaster in American history. A justice department statement released late on Thursday said the company had agreed to plead guilty to criminal conduct that occurred when it was carrying out its own post-accident investigation more than three years ago. Eleven people died and 4.9 million barrels of oil gushed into the Gulf over a three-month period after the explosion, with oil giant BP which leased Deepwater Horizon ending up paying billions of dollars in compensation and clean-up costs. Halliburton Energy Services, BP's contractor, had been accused by the British oil giant of destroying evidence. BP has also asked Halliburton to pay damages stemming from the April 2010 accident off the coast of Louisiana.
US indicts hackers in biggest cyber fraud case
Federal prosecutors said on Thursday they have charged five men responsible for a hacking and credit card fraud spree that cost companies more $300 million and two of the suspects are in custody, in the biggest cyber crime case filed in US history. They also disclosed a new security breach against Nasdaq, though they provided few details about the attack. Other companies targeted by the hackers include a Visa licensee, JC Penney, JetBlue Airways and French retailer Carrefour, according to an indictment unveiled in New Jersey. Authorities have been pursing the hackers for years. Many of the breaches were previously reported, though it appeared the one involving Nasdaq OMX Group was being disclosed for the first time. Prosecutors said they conservatively estimate that the group of five men from Russia and Ukraine helped steal at least 160 million payment card numbers, resulting in losses in excess of $300 million.
China wealth fund CIC in talks with Alibaba
Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC) is in unspecified talks with Alibaba Group, the official People's Daily reported on Friday, citing deputy director of public relations and international cooperation for CIC Liu Fangyu. The paper said CIC mentioned the discussions at a briefing for Chinese media on Friday, but did not give details. CIC invested around $2 billion in Alibaba in September last year to help the group fund a partial buy-back of Yahoo's stake in the e-commerce firm. Alibaba is currently preparing an IPO, after delisting subsidiary Alibaba.com in 2012.
Nomura profit surges as stock rally spurs fee income
Nomura Holdings, Japans largest brokerage, said first-quarter profit surged as the countrys stock market rally spurred brokerage commissions and fees from managing share sales. Net income rose to 65.9 billion yen ($668 million) for the three months ended June 30 from 1.9 billion yen a year earlier, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement on Friday. The result was in line with the average 65 billion yen estimate of nine analysts surveyed.