July 9, 2013

Briefcase

Buffett gives five charities $2.6 billion worth of stock

Billionaire Warren Buffett is giving five charities more than $2.6 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stock as part of his overall plan to give away his fortune gradually.

Buffett announced the annual gifts Monday. The biggest block of Class B shares of Berkshire stock worth $2 billion is going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Buffett also gave 1.75 million shares to his own foundation and 1.2 million shares to each of his three children's foundations. The Class B shares were up 46 cents at $115.42 in midday trading Monday.

Last year, Buffett announced plans to double the amount of stock he gives to his children's foundations because he has been pleased with the work they've done.

Thomson Reuters to stop early release of survey data

Thomson Reuters will suspend its practice of distributing results from consumer surveys a couple of seconds early to clients who pay the news and business information provider for advance access.

A company spokeswoman said Monday that Thomson Reuters will simultaneously distribute survey data at 9:55 a.m. starting Friday from the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers after the New York State attorney general requested the suspension.

The attorney general's office is investigating the early data access, and Thomson Reuters said it is cooperating with that review.

Thomson Reuters pays for exclusive access to the University of Michigan results, and some of its clients have been paying extra to receive the data two seconds before other clients receive it at 9:55 a.m. This allows high-speed computers to make trades before others gain access to the data.

Fiat offers $254.7 million for 3.3% of Chrysler stock

Italian automaker Fiat has exercised a third option to buy a small amount of Chrysler stock, but the sale won't go through until a U.S. court settles a dispute over the price.

Fiat said Monday that it offered $254.7 million for another 3.3 percent of Chrysler's outstanding equity.

Fiat already owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler, with the remaining 41.5 percent held by a trust that pays medical bills for retired United Auto Workers union members. The Italian company wants to buy all of the trust's stock and fully merge Chrysler and Fiat.

The price on the options will be settled by a judge in Delaware Chancery Court, and the ruling is likely to set the price for the trust's remaining Chrysler stake.

Creditors extend to Greece $8.7 billion in rescue loans

Greece secured a much-needed 6.8 billion euros ($8.7 billion) in rescue loans Monday after squeaking by an inspection from its international creditors, who are demanding it slash thousands of civil servant jobs and government spending.

Experts from the European Central Bank, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund said Greece's finances are improving, although they warned that it is making reforms too slowly and that the outlook for its economy, which has been in recession since 2007, remains uncertain.

-- From news service reports

 

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