Monday, February 26, 2007

Today's Headlines

- Morgan Stanley and Apax Partners Worldwide LLP agreed to buy Chicago-based Hub Intl. Ltd. for $1.8 billion in the second buyout of a US insurance brokerage in six weeks.
- Mirant Corp.(MIR) and Dynegy Inc.(DYN) are among power producers that may lure private equity firms after KKR agreed to buy TXU Corp.(TXU) in the biggest-ever leveraged buyout, Stephan Truffer of EIC Partners AG said.
- Temple-Inland(TIN), pressured by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, will spin off its real-estate and financial-serves units and sell timberlands to focus on packaging and building products. The shares jumped 16%.

Wall Street Journal:
- France’s state-run postal service is replacing the bulk of its 48,000-vehicle fleet of mail-delivery vans with electric cars.
- The US strategy to quell sectarian violence in Baghdad and help Iraqi forces set up permanent bases in Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods is starting to take hold, Senator Joe Lieberman wrote. Though time will be needed to see if the strategy proves a success over the longer term, many Congressional opponents of the war aren’t interested in giving it a chance, he wrote. “Cutting off support for further US troop deployment in Iraq, however, would be a “terrible mistake” and would have “devastating consequences,” Lieberman said.
- Governors of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington today plan to propose a regional strategy to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
- US mutual funds that concentrate of growth stocks are ahead of value funds so far this year, citing Morningstar Inc.
- Advanced Micro Devices(AMD), Intel Corp.(INTC), Microsoft Corp.(MSFT), Intl. Business Machines(IBM) and rivals have joined to mitigate the rising cost of energy of server systems and data centers. A technology-industry group, comprised of 11 companies sand known as the Green Grid, plans to disclose its program today.

NY Times:
- Google Inc.(GOOG) plans to distribute content from Dow Jones, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Conde Nast and other large content media companies to strengthen its position as an advertising platform.
- Hollywood studios are using digital downloading pioneer BitTorrent to help make movies and television shows legally available through the Internet.

NY Daily News:
- Fidelity Investments is planning to expand its program of charging higher management fees for better-performing funds to 19 more mutual funds.

USA Today:
- Lawmakers have continued to take trips funded by outside sources after new congressional travel restrictions were approved aimed at restricting such travel.

- The National Basketball Assoc. will show game highlights on Google’s(GOOG) YouTube Web site in a deal to be announced today.

Financial Times:
- Beer drinkers may find prices rising as a worldwide expansion in growth of corn, soybeans and rapeseed for renewable fuel production is crowding out barley farming.
- The number of hedge funds grew by more than two-thirds last year as the amount of new starters rose and more funds registered information publicly, citing a survey by Pertrac Financial Solutions. The NYC-based firm found more than 13,600 firms in 2006.

Valor Economico:
- Mitsui, Japan’s second-largest trading company, and Petroleo Brazileiro SA plan to invest in at least 3 ethanol mills in Brazil to supply the biofuel to the Asian country.

Nikkei English News:
- Toyota Motor(TM) is building a factory in Mississippi to assemble sport-utility vehicles, a facility that will cost $829 million.

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