Japans industrial output fell the most since the March 2011 earthquake and consumer prices declined, bolstering the case for extra stimulus to sustain the nations economic recovery. Production declined 3.1% in May from April, the trade ministry said in Tokyo on Friday. Production of transportation equipment including automobiles slumped 11.1% in May, the biggest drag on output overall. Consumer prices excluding fresh food fell 0.1% in May from a year earlier.
Facebook, LinkedIn boost privacy drive
Facebook and LinkedIn have agreed to beef up their international privacy and compliance teams in response to demands from the Irish regulator, the deputy Data Prote-ction Commissioner said. Recent high-profile data lapses, such as LinkedIns security breach that exposed millions of user passwords, have highlighted the difficulties for web giants and regulators alike of protecting consumer data. Some of the worlds major tech players have moved to set up their international or European headquarters in business-friendly Ireland in recent years.
Melrose agrees $2.3-bn Elster acquisition
British buyout group Melrose announced on Friday an agreed deal to buy German utility-metre maker Elster Group for $2.3 billion in its first major deal for four years. Melrose, which buys underper-forming manufa-cturing businesses and turns them around before selling them, said it would pay $20.50 for each Elster American depositary share, at a 43% premium to the average price in the last six months.
Coty seeks up to $700 m in IPO after Avon bid fails
Coty, the perfume maker that pulled a takeover offer for Avon Products, filed for an initial public offering seeking as much as $700 million. All the shares in the IPO will be offered by existing shareho-lders, the company said in a filing on Friday. Coty, based in New York, withdrew its sweetened $10.7-billion offer for Avon on May 15, citing the cosme-tics sellers refusal to negotiate. Coty hired Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley to help manage its share sale, it said
Chrome browser to be available on iPad, iPhone
Googles Chrome, the worlds top internet browser, is now available on the iPhone and iPad, as Apple finally granted access to its arch-foes more popular Web-surfing app. At Googles annual I/O devel-oper conference in San Francisco on Thursday, company executives announced the develo-pment as well as a limited launch of a cloud-computing and hosting service to take on Amazons thriving Web services arm.
Kerviel apologises to SocGen employees
Jerome Kerviel apologised to Societe Generale employees and said he never lied during the investigation into the banks 4.9 billion-euro ($6.1 billion) trading loss, as his lawyers asked a Paris court to clear him of any wrongdoing on the final day of his hearing. Kerviel, 35, is fighting a 2010 guilty verdict, for which he was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to repay the bank for its losses. Prosecutors this week asked for the maximum five years, a tougher recommendation than the lower court prosecution requested.