China's Lenovo Group edged out Silicon Valley icon Hewlett-Packard to become the world's No. 1 PC maker in the third quarter, Gartner said. A rival to Gartner, IDC, still ranks HP in the lead but by less than half a percentage point in terms of PC shipments worldwide. Both studies reinforce HP's struggles against rivals. This year, Lenovo bought Brazilian electronics maker CCE, valued at a base price of 300 million reais ($148 million), and US cloud computing firm Stoneware. The Chinese company vaulted into the PC market by buying IBM's personal computer division in 2005.
Greek unemployment rate crosses 25%
The unemployment rate in Greece rose to 25.1% in July, from 24.8% the month before, as the financial crisis continued to destroy jobs. Greece's statistical authority said 1.26 million Greeks were jobless in July, with more than 1,000 jobs lost every day over the past year. In the worst-affected 15-24 age group, unemployment was 54.2%. In July 2008, a year before Greece's acute financial crisis broke, there were only about 364,000 registered unemployed. Greece is surviving on international bailout loans, granted on condition of harsh austerity measures to curtail the country's large budget deficits. The economy is set to enter a sixth year of recession in 2013.
Coca Cola Hellenic quits Greece for Switzerland
Greece's biggest company, Coca Cola Hellenic, is leaving the country, the drinks bottler said on Thursday as its move to Switzerland with a London listing for its shares dealt a blow to the crippled Greek economy. The material impact on Greece may be limited Greek plants will go on working and CCH said the 5% of its business that the world's second-ranked Coke bottler has in Greece will be unaffected. Coca Cola Hellenic, which already has secondary stock market listings in London and New York, said in a bourse filing in Athens that shareholders, most of whom are abroad, will exchange all their stock for shares in Coca Cola HBC, based in Switzerland. That stock will have its primary quote in London.
RBS scores with Direct Lines solid market debut
Insurer Direct Line made a solid stock market debut on Thursday, marking a milestone in parent Royal Bank of Scotland's (RBS) recovery efforts. Strong demand from the general public helped RBS raise 787 million ($1.3 billion) through the sale of almost one third of Direct Line's shares. RBS has to sell all of Direct Line whose TV adverts have made its four-wheeled red phone motif a well-known corporate symbol as a condition of a government bailout during the 2008 financial crisis that left it 82% state-owned. It will sell more shares next year and in 2014.
Unesco chief warns of funding crisis
Unesco is in its worst-ever financial situation after its biggest contributor the United States froze funding last year, the director general of the United Nations' cultural agency said. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation was plunged into crisis in October 2011 when Washington, an ally of Israel, cancelled its grant in protest at the body's decision to grant the Palestinians full membership. The UN body had been forced to slash spending, freeze job hires and cut programmes after losing the US funding, which had made up 22% of its budget, UNESCO's Irina Bokova told reporters.