Showing posts from January 20, 2014

Booking to cash process

  Booking to cash process This process begins when the system gets a request from a consumer. Customers can place orders online directly on your website or by email from your sales staff. Either way, automating your order management can help you move orders quickly from order entry to cash receipt. Order fulfillment and delivery follow next in the cycle (Ahmed et al ., 2017). This stage of the cycle mostly pertains to firms that deal with physical items, where inventory staff should be informed with the correct information of the order to proceed with fulfillment and delivery. When it comes to digital services or Software as a Service (SaaS), this might entail allowing access to the ordered product or service. In this case, study how the booking to cash process is occurring in the photography company Fotof Fotof's booking to cash or Order to cash provides services in the areas of family photography, personal event photography (such as weddings and parties), and commercial pho

REFILE-TransCanada sells Cancarb unit to Tokai Carbon for C$190 mln

TransCanada Corp , Canada's No. 2 pipeline company, said on Monday it will sell its Cancarb Ltd unit, a carbon black manufacturer, to Japan's Tokai Carbon Co for C$190 million ($173.5 million) in order to focus on expanding its pipeline business. Cancarb, located in Medicine Hat, Alberta, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) southeast of Calgary, is the world's largest producer of thermal carbon black, an industrial material used in tires, printer inks and other goods. The sale includes Cancarb's 41-megawatt power plant, which sells electricity to Medicine Hat's power grid. TransCanada plans to use the proceeds to fund its pipeline growth strategy, which includes the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to take oil sands crude from northern Alberta to U.S. refiners and the 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East pipeline to take Western Canadian oil to the Atlantic Coast. "The proceeds from this sale will help fund TransCanada's unprecedented capital growth pl

Falling Deutsche Bank pulls European stocks lower

European stocks inched lower in thin trade on Monday, slipping from 5 1/2-year highs as Deutsche Bank's surprise quarterly loss prompted investors to cash in recent gains on banking stocks. Shares in Germany's biggest lender, which had not been due to release results until Jan. 29, sank 5.4 percent, wiping about 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) off its market capitalisation. The bank announced a drop in fixed-income trading revenues and heavy litigation and restructuring costs, which prompted it to warn about a challenging 2014. Commerzbank fell 4.5 percent, Banco Popolare dropped 3.1 percent and Credit Suisse shed 2.5 percent. "The figures of Deutsche Bank are surprising and there's no end to be seen, and therefore we are kind of critical about the conditions of the banking sector," said Oliver Roth, head trader at Close Brothers Seydler. "I think we have seen the bottom of the crisis, but I don't see the end of the crisis. Therefore I see much more

REFILE-Panama Canal Authority rejects EU mediation offer in contract row

The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) has turned down an offer by the European Commission to mediate in a multi-billion dollar dispute with a Spanish-led construction consortium which threatens to halt work on widening the century-old waterway. The consortium, known as Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), had threatened to suspend work by Monday unless the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) paid $1.6 billion in cost overruns on one of the world's largest construction projects. But on Sunday the group backed down from the threat. The European Commission said on Monday GPUC, led by Spanish builder Sacyr, had requested mediation by the European commissioner for industry Antonio Tajani, who accepted. But the PCA immediately rejected it. "The contract over a third set of locks has already mechanisms to resolve disputes and none of them includes the intervention of a third party," PCA said in a statement. "This will only be dealt with in accordance with what the contract says,&qu

GDF Suez eyes buys of up to $20 bln after failed $17 bln Talisman bid-sources

French utility GDF Suez had takeover approaches for Canada-based Talisman Energy rebuffed late last year as it seeks acquisitions worth as much as $10 to $20 billion outside Europe, banking and industrial sources said. _0"> GDF's financial advisers have reviewed a number of sizeable acquisitions, including U.S.-based utility AES, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation, as Chief Executive Gerard Mestrallet eyes a transformational deal before his retirement in 2016. GDF, Talisman and AES declined to comment.

JPMorgan sues Berlin transport provider over derivatives contract

JPMorgan is suing Berlin's public transport provider in a British court to recover the $204 million plus interest it says it is owed over an "unfortunate" derivatives contract taken out before the financial crisis. The lawyer for the U.S. bank said Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) was looking for anyone other than itself to blame for the losses on the collateralised debt obligation (CDO). "Rather than simply accepting that it had been unfortunate in the events that happened in the financial markets... BVG has decided to follow a course doing everything it could to avoid paying its debts... casting around for someone to blame other than itself," Laurence Rabinowitz told a London court on the first day of the trial. Problems arose simply because the transaction occurred just when serious cracks in the world's financial system were appearing, Rabinowitz added. BVG, which runs the German capital's underground railway, tram, bus and ferry networks, argue

Hedge fund Elliott raises Celesio stake to 24.08 percent

Activist investor Elliott Management Corp has raised its stake in German drug distributor Celesio and now controls shares equivalent to 24.08 percent of voting rights, regulatory filings to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Monday showed. _0"> New York-based hedge fund Elliott, which previously controlled shares with less than 20 percent voting rights, declined to comment. Earlier this month Reuters reported market talk that Elliott was adding to its stake after the failure of an $8.4-billion Celesio bid from McKesson Corp. McKesson had raised its offer for Celesio following pressure from Elliott, Celesio's second-largest shareholder behind Franz Haniel. But the U.S. drugs wholesaler failed to get across a 75 percent threshold for acceptances it had set as a condition. In the disclosure filing on Monday, Elliott revealed it also holds convertible bonds which give it access to an additional 7.93 percent voting stake, giving the hedge fund a theoretical voting stake of 32

UPDATE 1-Lenovo resumes talks to buy IBM unit -source

China's Lenovo Group Ltd has resumed discussions to buy International Business Machines Corp's low-end server unit, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. The two companies were in discussions to buy the division last year, but no deal was made as they couldn't agree on a price, sources have said. It was unclear how far along the more recent talks were, or what prices were being considered. An IBM spokesman said on Monday the company wouldn't comment on the report, nor on similar reports in other media outlets. Bloomberg, citing a person with direct knowledge of the matter, said Lenovo was in serious discussions to buy the unit and that a deal may be signed within weeks. The Wall Street Journal, also citing unnamed sources, said Dell Inc may be among the potential buyers, though it was unclear how serious Dell was. Dell went private in a $25 billion deal last year, following prolonged troubles at the computer maker. IBM's x86 server business sells s

Oxxo convenience stores attacked in central Mexico

A series of Oxxo convenience stores have been attacked in central Mexico, authorities said on Monday, a sign that strikes targeting businesses may be spreading nearer to the capital. _0"> There were reports that as many as nine stores belonging to Mexico's largest convenience store chain, operated by Femsa , were attacked late on Sunday night, authorities in Hidalgo state and the state of Mexico said. Femsa said two of its Oxxo stores were set on fire and three were attacked by gunmen. Some employees suffered burns but none were seriously hurt, Femsa said in a statement. The State of Mexico surrounds most of Mexico City and borders Hidalgo to the north, and local state prosecutors said the attacks appeared coordinated, echoing recent assaults against businesses in the state of Michoacan in western Mexico. Michoacan, which shares a border with the State of Mexico, has been shaken by fighting between a violent drug gang and heavily-armed vigilante groups, presenting a

Ethiopian Airlines plans order for 10-20 narrowbody jets - CEO

Ethiopian Airlines is looking at placing an order for 10-20 narrowbody jets, its chief executive told Reuters on Monday. _0"> Such an order would be worth $1-2 billion at list prices. Ethiopian will probably study proposals from Boeing, Airbus and Canada's Bombardier, a new entrant to the market for roughly 150-seat aircraft, Tewolde Gebremariam said. The airline, which plans to increase its revenues five-fold to $10 billion by 2025, is separately evaluating Boeing's latest wide-body jet, the 406-seat 777X, but has no immediate plans to place an order, he said. Speaking on the sidelines of an Airlines Economics conference in Dublin, he also downplayed concerns over the Boeing 787 Dreamliner following new glitches on the high-tech jet which was grounded over battery problems last year. A Japan Airlines (JAL) Boeing 787 Dreamliner was grounded last week after white smoke vented from the plane and a battery cell showed signs of melting. "We've never had a

EU expected to take legal action vs Germany over Daimler coolant breach

The European Commission is expected to launch legal action against Germany over Daimler's refusal to remove a banned refrigerant from new cars, EU sources said on Monday. A final decision on legal action against Germany could be taken as early as Wednesday, two sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said. Officials have for months been investigating the German luxury carmaker's refusal, backed by Berlin, to follow an EU law banning the air-conditioning coolant known as R134a from the start of last year. The carmaker insists its refusal to phase out R134a, a global warming agent more than 1,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, is justified by safety concerns. The only available replacement, Honeywell's R1234yf has a global warming potential only four times more than carbon dioxide but Daimler says it can emit toxic hydrogen fluoride gas when it burns. "Germany could so far not prove that R1234yf is so dangerous that a violation of the rule is justified

UPDATE 1-Doric expects to complete Airbus A380 order soon

Doric Lease Corp expects to finalize an order for 20 Airbus A380 superjumbo jets in the next couple of months, a senior executive said on Monday. The Dublin-based leasing firm placed the order, worth $8 billion at list prices, at last year's Paris Airshow, hoping to find new customers for the world's largest airliner following a period of slack sales. In a separate move, Emirates airline subsequently placed a firm order for 50 of the aircraft. But while that order has been confirmed, Doric's purchase remains to be finalized and is widely seen as depending on airlines agreeing to lease it. "Airbus has said it expects to have the order finalized in the next couple of months. That is where we are and where we expect to be," Paul Kent, chief commercial officer, told a conference hosted by Airline Economics. "We will have news relatively quickly on completion," he added. Doric has made progress in placing the aircraft it plans to order, Kent added, but

Peru minister expects Southern Copper mine to get permit in Q2

Peru will likely approve the environmental impact study for Southern Copper's $1 billion Tia Maria project in the second quarter, Energy and Mines Minister Jorge Merino said on Monday. _0"> "We are working closely with the company," Merino told reporters. In mid-December, Merino told state news agency Andina that the key permit for the proposed copper mine in southern Peru would probably be passed within 90 days. Merino said the ministry is evaluating observations made by locals following town hall meetings with the company late last year. In 2011, the previous government rejected the environmental impact study for the project, after violent protests by farmers who said the mine would deplete their water supplies. Southern Copper, an affiliate of Grupo Mexico, has agreed to build a desalination plant. Merino said the company now has the backing of nearby communities, but local opponents continue to hold protests against the mine, saying they were exclud

Canadian insurers paid out C$3.2 bln due to weather last year

Extreme weather events including flooding in Alberta and an ice storm that hit Ontario and Eastern Canada cost Canadian insurers a record C$3.2 billion ($2.92 billion) in losses last year, an industry group said on Monday. _0"> The report by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), an umbrella group of Canadian property and casualty insurers, follows warnings from industry players that premiums will have to rise to cover a rising number of catastrophic claims events. The bulk of the loss stemmed from June floods that shut down the oil industry hub of Calgary, Alberta, and decimated some smaller communities. That flood, which the IBC said was Canada's costliest natural disaster ever, cost insurers C$1.74 billion. A smaller flash flood in Toronto in July resulted in C$940 million in damages, while an ice storm that hit Toronto and other parts of Ontario and Eastern Canada in December cost insurers C$200 million in damage to homes, it said. "Canadian communities are se

UPDATE 2-GECAS orders 40 Boeing 737s worth $4 bln

GECAS, the world's largest aircraft leasing company, announced an order for 40 Boeing medium-haul passenger jets on Monday, in a fresh boost for the U.S. planemaker's best-selling model. Confirming an earlier Reuters report, GECAS said the order would be split between the current-generation Boeing 737-800 and the future 737 MAX, a revamped jet designed to save fuel with the introduction of new engines, starting in 2017. GECAS is owned by General Electric, which makes the engines for the 737 family in a transatlantic joint-venture shared equally with France's Safran. In October 2012, GECAS ordered 75 Boeing 737 MAX jets and 10 current 737-800s and took options for up to 15 additional 737-800s. Boeing's 737 competes with the Airbus A320. GECAS was formed in 1993 after GE acquired most of the aircraft of the collapsed leasing empire of Irish entrepreneur Tony Ryan and combined it with its own Polaris operation. Most of its 1,700 aircaft are still managed in Ireland .

UPDATE 1-Oxxo convenience stores attacked in central Mexico

A series of Oxxo convenience stores have been attacked in central Mexico, authorities said on Monday, a sign that strikes targeting businesses may be spreading nearer to the capital. There were reports that as many as nine stores belonging to Mexico's largest convenience store chain, operated by Femsa , were attacked late on Sunday night, authorities in Hidalgo state and the state of Mexico said. Femsa said three of its Oxxo stores were set on fire and two were attacked by gunmen. Some employees suffered burns but none were seriously hurt, Femsa said in a statement. The company said it was investigating whether there is any connection between the gun attacks and the fires. The State of Mexico surrounds most of Mexico City and borders Hidalgo to the north, and local state prosecutors said the attacks appeared coordinated, echoing recent assaults against businesses in the state of Michoacan in western Mexico. Michoacan, which shares a border with the State of Mexico, has been

Train hauling crude oil derails on Philadelphia bridge

A freight train carrying crude oil derailed on Monday on a railroad bridge in Philadelphia, forcing the closing of the busy Schuylkill Expressway, authorities said. Nothing leaked in the derailment which occurred about 1 a.m. EST (0600 GMT) near the Schuylkill River, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement. The accident was the latest in a series of crashes of trains carrying crude oil in the United States and Canada that has raised safety concerns. The Schuylkill Expressway was closed for nearly an hour after the derailment and again at about noon, according to a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Delays occurred as well as motorists slowed to look at a tanker car and a freight car visibly leaning sideways on the railway bridge. Local media quoted a CSX Corp spokesman as saying the 101-car freight train was headed to Philadelphia from Chicago, and that seven cars derailed on the bridge. Six of the derailed cars carried crude oil, CSX was quoted as

Brazil homebuilder MRV's project launches surge in fourth quarter

The value of project launches at Brazil's No. 2 homebuilder by market value, MRV Engenharia SA , more than doubled in the fourth quarter following a push to sell off inventory in previous quarters. _0"> Launches totaled 1.34 billion reais ($573.1 million) in the fourth quarter, a 101 percent increase from the same period in 2012, according to a securities filing on Monday. The total value of launches in 2013 was 3.52 billion reais, up 2 percent from the previous year, while contracted sales rose 27 percent to 5.09 billion reais. Contracted sales, a measure of firm home purchases, totaled 1.23 billion reais in the fourth quarter, up about 1 percent from a year earlier. In November, Chief Executive Officer Rubens Menin said the company, which focuses on the low-income market, would increase the pace of project launches as it sold off inventory. Most of the third quarter's sales came from existing stock. "We had been selling more than we were launching, and that

Brazil's GPA appoints Iabrudi as CEO, to replace Pestana

GPA SA, Brazil's largest diversified retailer, tapped Ronaldo Iabrudi as chief executive officer, according to a securities filing Monday. _0"> Iabrudi, a former private equity banker who headed mining company Magnesita SA between 2008 and 2012, was currently the top executive of France's Casino Guichard Perrachon & Cie in Brazil . Casino, one of France's largest retailers, is GPA's controlling shareholder. Iabrudi replaces Enéas Pestana, who ran the São Paulo-based company since March 2010 and tendered his resignation earlier in the day, the filing added.

GECAS may order 40 Boeing 737s worth $4 billion: sources

GECAS, the world's largest aircraft leasing company, is close to placing an order for around 40 Boeing ( id="symbol_BA.N_0"> BA.N ) medium-haul jets, industry sources said on Monday. _0"> The order may include a mixture of revamped Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, designed to save fuel with the introduction of new engines from 2017, and Boeing's best-selling current model, the 737-800. Such an order would be worth some $4 billion at list prices if split evenly between the two models. Boeing and GECAS both declined comment. GECAS is owned by General Electric ( id="symbol_GE.N_1"> GE.N ) which makes the engines for the 737 family in a transatlantic joint-venture co-owned by France's Safran ( id="symbol_SAF.PA_2"> SAF.PA ). In October 2012, GECAS ordered 75 Boeing 737 MAX jets and 10 current 737-800s and took options for up to 15 additional 737-800s. Boeing's 737 competes with the Airbus ( id="symbol_AIR.PA_3"> AIR

Russia to support domestic car industry with subsidies

Russia plans to support its struggling auto industry with subsidies of up to 271 billion roubles ($8 billion) in the three years to 2016, the government said. _0"> Russian car sales fell in 2013 and face another weak year as a stuttering economy puts off buyers, according to lobby group the Association of European Businesses (AEB). The subsidies will be for research and development, to support jobs and to compensate for some costs related to meeting tighter exhaust emission standards, the government said in a statement on its web site. Russia's largest carmaker is Avtovaz, maker of the Lada, which is set to be controlled by Franco-Japanese alliance Renault-Nissan ( id="symbol_RENA.PA_0"> RENA.PA ) ( id="symbol_7201.T_1"> 7201.T ) by mid-2014. Other foreign carmakers have invested heavily in the country, such as Ford ( id="symbol_F.N_2"> F.N ) and General Motors ( id="symbol_GM.N GM.N ). _3"> Russia introduced a recy

Google set to face Intellectual Ventures in landmark patent trial

Intellectual Ventures is set to square off this week against Google Inc's Motorola Mobility unit in the first trial that the multibillion-dollar patent-buying firm has undertaken since it was founded. Privately-held Intellectual Ventures sued Motorola in 2011, claiming the mobile phone maker infringed patents covering a variety of smartphone-related technologies, including Google Play. Motorola has denied the allegations and will now go to trial over three of those patents. Barring any last-minute settlements, jury selection is scheduled to begin on Tuesday at a federal court in Wilmington, Delaware. The trial takes place amid an unfolding debate in Congress over patent reform, in which Intellectual Ventures and Google are on opposite sides. Google is backing attempts to curb software patents and make it easier to fight lawsuits, while IV has warned that Congress should not act too rashly to weaken patent owners' rights. IV and other patent aggregators have faced criticis

Brewer AB InBev grows in Asia with $5.8 billion Korea return

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, the world's biggest brewer, agreed to buy back South Korea's Oriental Brewery Co Ltd (OB) for $5.8 billion including debt, returning to a large Asian market at a time of strong industry growth across the region. The sale by KKR & Co and Affinity Equity Partners will be Asia's biggest ever for private equity, excluding flotations, and rewards them with returns of more than five times their investment. However AB InBev can claim with Monday's deal to be paying a reasonable price for a business that has grown in value in the five years since it was sold for $1.8 billion. That sale was one of the aggressive divestments forced on InBev after its $52 billion purchase of U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch in 2008. AB InBev shares rose 1.0 percent by 1050 GMT on Monday, making them the strongest performers in a STOXX 600 European food and beverage index, which was up 0.3 percent. Andrew Holland, analyst at Societe Generale, said the price was pretty f

South Africa minister warns on economy as mines face strike threat

South Africa's ailing economy cannot afford more mine labor unrest, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Monday, as the platinum industry's main trade union served notice on the world's top three producers that it planned to strike this week. A series of sometimes violent strikes in the factory and mining sectors constrained growth to a sluggish 2 percent in 2013, hampering efforts by President Jacob Zuma's government to create badly needed jobs as it braces for elections this year. The African National Congress has swept elections since overturning white minority rule in 1994, but the party Zuma now heads faces growing criticism that it has failed to lift millions of blacks out of poverty during 20 years in power. Platinum producers Anglo American Platinum ( id="symbol_AMSJ.J_0"> AMSJ.J ), Lonmin ( id="symbol_LMI.L_1"> LMI.L ) ( id="symbol_LONJ.J_2"> LONJ.J ) and Impala Platinum ( id="symbol_IMPJ.J_3"> IMPJ.J

Regulators start work on new bank asset valuation rule

Global regulators are planning the world's first common rule within three years to value hard-to-price assets held by banks after unexpected revisions have unsettled investors, the man overseeing the plan told Reuters. The initiative may face resistance from a banking sector worried that assets will be more conservatively priced, hitting bonuses and bumping up capital requirements. "Regulators don't have a benchmark for valuations at banks," said David Tweedie, chairman of the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC), an independent, not-for-profit, private sector body which develops valuation standards. "Our job is to say that is how you arrive at the value. Let's agree a model. The big ones we should have done within two to three years," he told Reuters in an interview. Despite warnings about hasty rulemaking from accountants, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), which coordinates regulation for the Group of 20 (G20) leading economies, is

China cheer muted as Deutsche Bank sets European nerves jangling

Asian markets got off to a subdued start on Tuesday amid a dearth of major data, with the only action being a spike in the New Zealand dollar on talk interest rates could rise there as early as next week. Leads were few and far between with most European share markets marginally lower and Wall Street shut for a holiday. That left MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS down a bare 0.07 percent, while Australia's main index .AXJO eased 0.3 percent. Investors had a wary eye on Chinese money markets after the People's Bank of China (PBOC) announced a surprise injection of funds on Monday aimed at curbing a recent spike in rates. The central bank also broke tradition by saying it would add more money at its regular operations on Tuesday, an apparent attempt to avoid a repeat of the severe cash crunch that roiled markets in June. The early mover in Asia was the New Zealand dollar which surged half a U.S. cent to $0.8329 after inflation da

Ford's 'quality' push comes at busy time for automaker

Ford Motor Co ( id="symbol_F.N_0"> F.N ) is betting that the tight bond between two of its senior executives can help the automaker prevent quality missteps from derailing its busiest-ever year for launching new vehicles. Joe Hinrichs, head of North and South American operations, and Raj Nair, Ford's global product development chief, are two of the key players in what has been an all-out push to stamp out problems that have dogged the automaker in the last few years. At stake are Ford's credibility and profitability as it embarks on an ambitious plan to introduce 23 new vehicles - the most in one year in company history - around the world this year. These include a radical revamp of its most profitable vehicle, the top-selling F-150 pickup truck, which was unveiled at the Detroit auto show last week. The new version uses less steel and more aluminum. "We have a lot more new product and a lot more new launches than we used to have," Hinrichs said in

BRIC or MINT? Investors suffer acronym anxiety

Which investment takes your fancy: BRIC, MINT or CIVETS? For many fund managers seeking the next big thing in emerging markets, the answer is none. Acronym investment - putting money into small groupings of markets which often have little in common beyond a broad economic concept - is giving way to acronym anxiety. Former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill set the ball rolling in 2001 when he created the BRIC family of Brazil , Russia, India and China. Many of these countries and others lumped together under separate acronyms have, at least until recently, enjoyed turbo-charged economic growth. But investment gains are not guaranteed and underperforming local stock markets have led fund managers to flee what had been fashionable groupings. Assets under management in BRIC funds fell to 9 billion euros at the end of last year from 21 billion at the end of 2010, according to Lipper data, while assets under management in broader emerging equity funds have grown in that time. Go

LVMH watches and jewelry head Trapani to step down

LVMH ( id="symbol_LVMH.PA_0"> LVMH.PA ) said watches and jewelry head Francesco Trapani would step down on March 1, becoming an advisor to group Chairman Bernard Arnault and keeping his seat on the board of directors of the world's biggest luxury group. _0"> LVMH's jewelry divisions, including Bulgari, Chaumet, Fred and De Beers, will report instead to group Managing Director Antonio Belloni, LVMH said on Monday. Watch brands TAG Heuer and Zenith will come under the responsibility of Hublot President Jean-Claude Biver, LVMH added. As its then chief executive, Trapani agreed to sell Bulgari, long seen as a takeover target, to LVMH nearly three years ago for some $5 billion. That gave it access to the French group's global retail network and improved margins through cost-sharing. Louis Vuitton owner LVMH was keen to close the gap with bigger watch and jewelry companies such as Richemont ( id="symbol_CFR.VX_1"> CFR.VX ) and Swatch ( id=&

New credit raters struggle to break stranglehold of 'big three'

For all the outrage over the role of the big three credit-rating firms in the financial crisis, they show no sign of losing their grip on the highly profitable industry. That has not stopped new contenders joining the 50 or so lesser-known rating firms that have long been trying to grab a bigger slice of the business. The financial crisis should have helped their cause. The big firms - Standard and Poor's, Moody's and Fitch - lost much kudos when many of the complex U.S. housing market-linked loans that they rated top-notch triple-A turned out to be worthless. Many of the newcomers are touting themselves as preferable alternatives. A Lisbon-based firm called ARC that launched last week says its ratings will be far cheaper than the dominant players and will take a more balanced view so be less volatile. But official figures show how hard it is to make headway. S&P, Moody's (both 40 percent) and Fitch (17 percent) are holding onto over 95 of the industry's marke

Doric expects to complete Airbus A380 order soon

Doric Lease Corp expects to finalize an order for 20 Airbus ( id="symbol_AIR.PA_0"> AIR.PA ) A380 superjumbo jets in the next couple of months, a senior executive said on Monday. _0"> "Airbus has said it expects to have the order finalized in the next couple of months. That is where we are and where we expect to be," Paul Kent, chief commercial officer, told a conference hosted by Airline Economics. "We will have news relatively quickly on completion," he added. Doric Lease Corp placed the order, worth $8 billion at list prices, at the Paris Airshow in June 2013. The Dublin-based company has partnered with Airbus to find new customers for the world's largest airliner following slack sales. In a separate move, Emirates airline subsequently placed a firm order for 50 of the aircraft. Doric has made progress in placing with airlines the aircraft it plans to order, Kent added, but declined to give details. (Reporting by Conor Humphries,

German car industry rocked by vote-rigging in auto prize

Germany's ADAC car club, Europe's largest and most influential, said on Monday revelations it had falsified results of its annual car award struck at the core of its credibility and critics raised questions about its car safety tests. Volkswagen said it was considering giving back the award. ADAC communications director Michael Ramstetter resigned in disgrace after conceding he manipulated the results of the car club's coveted "Yellow Angel" award for Germany's favorite car, which was won last week by the Volkswagen Golf model. "We've got our work cut out for us to repair the tarnished reputation," said ADAC managing director Karl Obermair, who called Ramstetter's actions "an inexcusable mistake". "We're very sorry," added Obermair, personally humiliated himself after he initially scolded media for reporting doubts about ADAC's vote-counting. "This strikes at the very core of our existence. Our goal is t

Putin orders lower borrowing costs for 'productive' Russian companies

President Vladimir Putin has instructed Russia's central bank to reduce borrowing costs for "productive" companies, the Kremlin said on its website on Monday. _0"> The directive may increase the pressure on central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina to soften the bank's tough anti-inflationary policy. The bank has resisted cuts in its key policy rate for over a year despite an abrupt economic slowdown. However, the phrasing of Putin's order, one of several issued to governmental bodies for implementation this year, suggests that he wants the central bank to come up with a targeted scheme. The order recommends the bank to work on "stimulating a lowering of the level of interest rates on rouble loans provided to organizations active in the productive sphere". It did not elaborate further, except to say that Nabiullina is responsible for presenting proposals by September 1. Russian policymakers have long been concerned by the small role of manuf

Senior JPMorgan banker Diederichs retires after 34 years: memo

Veteran JPMorgan Chase & Co ( id="symbol_JPM.N_0"> JPM.N ) dealmaker Klaus Diederichs is to retire after 34 years with the company, the bank said in an internal memo seen by Reuters. Diederichs has held numerous leadership roles in his time with the company, most recently as chairman of investment banking for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He was instrumental in building JPMorgan's investment banking franchise and also had roles running debt capital markets in Europe and global mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He has coordinated the firm's strategies for its 100 top clients worldwide and advised leading European companies including Nokia ( id="symbol_NOK1V.HE_1"> NOK1V.HE ), Virgin Media ( id="symbol_LBTYA.O_2"> LBTYA.O ), Rosneft ( id="symbol_ROSN.MM ROSN.MM ), Vodafone ( id="symbol_VOD.L VOD.L ), Unicredit ( id="symbol_CRDI.MI CRDI.MI ) and Pernod Ricard ( id="symbol_PERP.PA PERP.PA ) on M&A, in

German watchdog to visit Deutsche in London in FX probe: source

Representatives from Germany's financial watchdog Bafin will visit the London offices of Deutsche Bank, the country's biggest lender, as it steps up investigations into alleged currency market manipulation, a source familiar with the process said on Monday. _0"> This follows Deutsche's suspension last week of traders in New York and mirrors the arrival of U.S. regulators in London last week at Citigroup's London headquarters, marking an escalation in the global probe. German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that Bafin was setting up a so-called special investigation, putting the case at the top of its priority list. Bafin was not available for immediate comment. Deutsche Bank declined to comment, and referred Reuters to a previous statement that it is cooperating with those investigations, and will take disciplinary action with regards to individuals if merited. The source could not say when the visit would take place, or whether Bafin officials al

Waiver helps UK credit unions take on payday lenders

A new type of loan insurance could help Britain's credit unions take on payday lenders charging sky-high rates and go some way to plugging a protection gap left by the country's worst-ever mis-selling scandal. Cuna Mutual, the world's biggest credit union insurer, is working with UK lenders to provide a 'debt waiver' facility for borrowers which ensures they do not have to make repayments on loans if they fall ill or lose their jobs. The product increases the attractiveness of loans offered by credit unions and comes at a time when they are being urged to grow at the expense of payday lenders such as Wonga, which charges an annual interest rate of 5,853 percent. Paul Walsh, Cuna's chief executive who was previously an insurance executive at Barclays ( id="symbol_BARC.L_0"> BARC.L ), says adopting the waiver could heighten their popularity. "I think it's a very credible way of transforming the attractiveness of their products. It makes