Emirates’ BlackBerry rules to extend to foreign visitors

The United Arab Emirates’ looming crackdown on BlackBerry services will extend to foreign visitors, putting the government’s concerns over the smart phones in direct conflict with the country’s ambitions to be a business and tourism haven.

The emirates’ telecoms regulator said Monday that travelers to the city-state of Dubai and the important oil industry center of Abu Dhabi will — like the 500,000 local subscribers — have to do without BlackBerry e-mail, messaging and Web services starting Oct. 11, even when they carry phones issued in other countries. The handsets will still be allowed for phone calls.

UAE authorities say the move is based on security concerns because BlackBerry data are automatically shipped to company computers abroad, where it is difficult for local authorities to monitor for illegal activity or abuse.

Critics of the crackdown say it is also a way for the country’s conservative government to further control content.

 

Positive news on recovery lifts oil over $81 a barrel

Oil prices rose 3 percent Monday on positive economic news and rallying stock markets. The jump above $81 per barrel could translate into higher pump prices soon.

Benchmark crude for September delivery rose about 3 percent after positive reports on manufacturing in the United States and Europe indicated the global economy is continuing to recover. A rally in global stock markets also helped, as did weakness in the dollar.

The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $2.73 Monday, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. It’s about 0.8 cents less than a month ago but remains almost 20 cents higher than a year ago.

 

Humana raises projections as profits climb 21 percent

Louisville, Ky.-based Humana Inc. reported a 21 percent increase in second-quarter profits Monday. The health insurer’s latest strong performance in its vast government segment, led by its growing Medicare Advantage business, was backed by a big improvement in its commercial sector.

Based on solid first-half results, the company raised its net income-per-share expectations for the full year to a range of $5.65 to $5.75, compared to a prior range of $5.55 to $5.65. Analysts expect $5.71 per share, on average.

Humana became the latest health insurer to post strong second-quarter profits, following recent reports from competitors UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Aetna Inc. that also beat Wall Street expectations.

 

Treasury Department cuts borrowing estimate for year

The Treasury Department has further trimmed its estimate of the amount of borrowing it will need to do this year, as an improving economy has boosted tax revenues and cut spending needs more than previously expected.

Treasury said Monday that it now expects to borrow $1.438 trillion this year, still the second-highest amount in history. But that is down by 19.5 percent from last year’s record in borrowing of $1.786 trillion.

 

China’s Geely completes $1.5 billion buyout of Volvo

Geely Holding Group completed its acquisition of Ford Motor Co.’s Volvo unit Monday in a $1.5 billion deal that gives the small-but-ambitious Chinese automaker a global brand and huge management challenges.

The legendary Swedish automaker is China’s biggest foreign auto acquisition and an unusually large deal for a private Chinese company.

Industry analysts say 13-year-old Geely, barely known abroad, will face a struggle in integrating the two corporate cultures and turning around Volvo Cars, a perennial money loser in a country with strong labor unions.