Dole Food sells 2 arms to Itochu for $1.7 billion
Dole Food Company will sell two businesses to Itochu for $1.7 billion in cash — a deal that will help the world's largest fruit and vegetable producer pay down its heavy debt load while expanding Itochu's food presence in new markets such as China. Dole has been struggling with volatile demand and low prices for bananas, its biggest-selling product. The sale of its worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh produce businesses is set to result in a significant reduction in its $1.7 billion of net debt, as well as pay for restructuring costs.
By contrast, Japanese trading houses are keen to diversify their profit streams away from energy and mining-related businesses and have stepped up overseas acquisitions thanks to a strong yen and flush reserves of cash.
German investor confidence rises first time since April
German investor confidence rose for the first time in five months in September after the European Central Bank unveiled a plan to buy government bonds to stem the sovereign debt crisis. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months in advance, climbed to minus 18.2 from minus 25.5 in August. Economists forecast a gain to minus 20, according to the median of 41 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.
MS urges customers to install security tool
Microsoft Corp urged Windows users on Monday to install a free piece of security software to protect PCs from a newly discovered bug in the Internet Explorer browser. The security flaw, which researchers say could allow hackers to take remote control of an infected PC, affects Internet Explorer browsers used by hundreds of millions of consumers and workers. Microsoft said it will advise customers on its website to install the security software as an interim measure, buying it time to fix the bug and release a new, more secure version of Internet Explorer. The free security tool, which is known as the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, or EMET, is available on Microsoft's website: http://bit.ly/Kv497S.
China realty prices cooling, govt may limit curbs
Prices for newly constructed homes in China rose in fewer cities in August than the previous month, reducing the likelihood that policymakers will strengthen steps designed to constrain property prices. Thirty-five of 70 cities covered by the statistics bureau’s monthly report had price gains, compared with