Trump Stops Qualcomm Takeover
U.S. President Donald Trump stopped Singapore-based Broadcom's $117 billion bid to acquire rival chipmaker Qualcomm, citing national security concerns. Both firms were ordered to discard the proposed merger. The move is likely to frustrate Qualcomm investors. The U.S. firm announced a $1 billion cost-cutting initiative and demotion of former CEO Paul Jacobs from the role of executive chairman.
11 Countries Sign Asia-Pacific Trade Pact
In spite of the US pulling out last year, 11 Asia-Pacific nations signed a trade pact, formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The countries included Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The treaty aims to bring down trade tariffs and non-tariff obstacles between member nations.
Finland Betting On Nokia
In a bid to boost the national influence in Nokia, Finland's state investment arm Solidium put about $1.04 billion in the company for a 3.3 per cent stake. Nokia sold its mobile handset business to Microsoft in 2014, and then scrapped thousands of jobs. Three Finnish pension funds have also invested in Nokia but hold less than 3 per cent stake.
Toys "R" Us Closing After 70 Years
Toys "R" Us, the American retail chain set up in 1948, is seeking bankruptcy court's approval to shut down all its U.S. stores and liquidate inventories. The shuttering of nearly 800 stores means more than 30,000 employees will lose their jobs. It is also closing its U.K. stores. The company filed for bankruptcy in September 2017, hoping to shed nearly $8 billion in debt but could not effect a turnaround.
Theranos, Founder Charged With Fraud
The U.S. SEC charged blood-testing start-up Theranos and its CEO Elizabeth Holmes with massive fraud, claiming that the firm had raised over $700 million through fraudulent claims. Holmes, hailed as Silicon Valley's first female billionaire, must pay $500,000 as a fine, must give up majority voting control of the firm and can't serve as a public company officer for a decade.
Ant Financial Enters Pakistan
Ant Financial, part of the Alibaba Group, and Telenor have entered a partnership in Pakistan that will see Ant invest $184.5 million for a 45 per cent stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank. The funding will help develop TMB's mobile payment and digital financial services. In 2009, TMB came up with Easypaisa, Pakistan's first mobile financial services platform.