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Updated: Dec 25 2012, 08:30am hrs
China to crack down on malicious registrations

China plans to change the law to crackdown on malicious trademark registrations, state media said on Monday, after a series of cases in which well-know international brands and individuals have had their names or copyright misused. Foreign governments, including the US, have for years urged China to take a stronger stand against intellectual property rights violations on products ranging from medicines to software to DVD movies. Basketball legend Michael Jordan is one of the latest to accuse a company of using his name without permission, and French luxury group Hermes International SCA and Apple Inc have faced trademark problems too.

Macedonians protest against national budget

Macedonian police are trying to prevent rival groups of protesters from attacking each other outside Parliament over the conservative governments national budget, which the left-wing opposition is criticising as wasteful at a time when many in the country are struggling to make ends meet. About 3,000 demonstrators in two opposing groups Monday threw eggs, stones, sticks and fruit at each other, injuring at least one person.

Police were trying to prevent opposition supporters from entering Parliament.

The Social Democrat-led opposition accuses the government of planning spending for grandiose monuments, expensive cars and furniture.

LSE cuts LCH.Clearnet offer by 25%

The London Stock Exchange cut its offer for a majority stake in transatlantic clearing house LCH. Clearnet by a quarter to 366 million euros ($482 million) to reflect new capital requirements. The companies said on Monday they agreed a new price of 15 euros a share after estimating that new European rules on clearing houses could require LCH to raise 300 million euros in additional capital next year. Analysts said the lower offer meant that the LSE would claw back most of the cost of the new rules, which are meant to protect clearing houses from the impact of a major customer defaulting.

Lukoil opts out of Iraqs West Qurna-1 oilfield

Russias second-largest crude producer Lukoil said on Monday it had decided not to join the development of Iraqs West Qurna-1 oilfield, citing high risks, paving the way for Chinese companies to enter the project. Lukoil oversees the largest share of oil reserves in Iraq among foreign companies and is already involved in the West Qurna-2 project, while companys from energy-China are vying for Iraqi oil. West Qurna-1 became available for Lukoil and others last month when ExxonMobil informed the Iraqi government it wants to pull out of the $50 billion project.

Malaysian tycoon to take Tradewinds private

Malaysian tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary will take palm oil-to-sugar processor Tradewinds (M) Bhd private in a cash deal worth at least 1.5 billion ringgit ($490.20 million), Maybank Investment said on Monday. Maybank Investment, which advises Syed Mokhtar's investment companies, did not give any rationale for the deal. Analysts who follow Tradewinds said all of Syed Mokhtars commodity businesses might be grouped under one company and re-listed. In January, Syed Mokhtar's autos-to- property conglomerate DRB-HICOM Bhd acquired domestic carmaker Proton in a $412-million deal.

S&P cuts Egypt rating on political strife

Standard & Poors cut Egypt's long-term credit rating on Monday and said another cut was possible if deepening political turbulence undermines efforts to prop up the economy and public finances. Egypt's popular uprising two years ago chased away tourists and foreign investors, helping push its budget deficit into double digits as a percentage of national output and worsening its balance of payments. A divisive battle over a new constitution this month has also prompted the government to delay urgent austerity measures and put a crucial $4.8-billion IMF loan on hold.

Rosneft gets huge loans and deals for TNK-BP

Rosneft, seeking to wrap up Russia's largest-ever takeover deal, has raised $16.8 billion in bank loans and signed long-term supply deals with two leading oil traders that could be worth as much as $50 billion. The state-controlled Russian oil major said on Monday the loans raised from Western banks would be sufficient to pay for the 50% of Anglo-Russian oil firm TNK-BP it is buying from BP for $27 billion in cash and stock. Rosneft has agreed to pay a total of $55 billion to buy TNK-BP, Russia's No. 3 oil firm, in a deal that would create the world's largest publicly listed oil firm, with daily oil and gas output equivalent to 4.6 million barrels per day.