Tag Archive | "japanese"

New York Maid Not Surprised By Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s Antics, Has Husband Ready To Fuck You Up If Anything Is Tried With Her

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“These things that happened in the past two weeks aren’t surprising for us. We’ve been dealing with this for a long time…”I’ve had two scary experiences. A year after I started, I walked into a room and a Japanese guy was inside preparing to check out. Before he left, he came up to me and said, ‘Kiss, kiss.’ “I said, ‘No kiss, kiss. I’m going to call my husband. He’s going to hit you.’ [NYDN via Daily Intel]

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 05.19.11

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I.M.F. Chief Quits in Wake of Charges of Sexual Attack (NYT)
“It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of managing director of the I.M.F.,” he said in a statement dated Wednesday and released early Thursday by the I.M.F. “I think at this time first of my wife — whom I love more than anything — of my children, of my family, of my friends.”

Most French People ‘Think DSK Was Set Up’ (Sky News)
The survey, taken before the 62-year-old’s first court appearance on Monday, showed that 57% of respondents believe the Socialist presidential hopeful has been set up.

Lagarde May Stake Claim as First Female IMF Chief (Bloomberg)
A lawyer who became the first female chairman of Chicago- based firm Baker & McKenzie LLP, Lagarde was appointed as finance minister by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, just before the onset of the financial crisis. Lagarde’s negotiating abilities helped clinch agreement on the euro area’s sovereign bailout fund announced in the early hours of May 10 last year, according to a person who was there…A fluent speaker of English, Lagarde attended a year of high school as an exchange student at Holton Arms, a private girls’ school in Bethesda, Maryland. An avid swimmer, young Christine was selected for the French national synchronized swim team when she was 15 and competed internationally for two years.

J.P. Morgan, Fund Investors Rebut Meredith Whitney (MarketBeat)
J.P. Morgan Asset Management chucked a note over the transom in response to Meredith Whitney’s latest hate letter to the muni market.Their take is that Ms. Whitney makes some points they sort of agree with, but that she seriously overstates the default risk.

Levin sees ‘real hope’ of fresh Goldman probe (FT)
The senator said Goldman’s payment of $550m to settle fraud allegations from the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the marketing of one structured debt product did not preclude other allegations. He said Goldman executives misled his committee but suggested they might have stopped short of lies with “wiggle words”. “They obviously spent a lot of time parsing words,” he said, adding he was “not going to judge whether they committed perjury”. He said even large settlements were not satisfactory without admissions of guilt.

Goldman Sachs Back at No. 1 (Deal Journal)
According to figures from Dealogic, Goldman popped to the No. 1 spot for the first time this year in the league tables, the closely watched listing of M&A advisers ranked by the value of deals on which they advise. J.P. Morgan had held the crown for global deal advisers since Jan. 18.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s two sons born days apart (CNN)
A son fathered by Arnold Schwarzenegger with his housekeeper was born less than a week after Maria Shriver gave birth to another Schwarzenegger son, according to birth records obtained Wednesday by CNN.

SEC probes electronic platform failures (FT)
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating computer system failures at electronic marketplaces including Nasdaq to determine whether internal controls are sufficient, according to people familiar with the matter. The investigation is being handled by the enforcement division’s market abuse unit and is part of a broader regulatory review of stock exchanges following last year’s “flash crash”, recent hacking attempts and trading glitches

Perella Weinberg to Fork Over $11.5 Million in Dreier Fraud (Deal Journal)
Under the deal, [Chapter 11 trustee Sheila M.] Gowan will drop a lawsuit in which she sought the return of $24.1 million in payments she says Perella Weinberg and an affiliated fund received on the approximately $60 million they spent on the promissory notes that Dreier was hawking to investors such as themselves.

Smith Barney Deal Still On (WSJ)
In its first-quarter report, Morgan Stanley posted a $655 million pretax loss related to the Mitsubishi joint venture. After reports surfaced about the loss, Mitsubishi agreed to convert $7.8 billion in preferred stock for 385 million shares of the company. That conversion boosted Morgan Stanley’s Tier 1 ratio and presumably will give it added capital for the planned buyout of Citigroup’s stake in the Smith Barney venture. Morgan Stanley can begin buying that stake next year under its agreement with Citi. Mr. Gorman said reports of Morgan Stanley asking Citi to alter the terms of that deal weren’t true.

Nominations Submitted for the SEC (WSJ)
The White House on Wednesday submitted to the Senate a pair of nominees for the Securities and Exchange Commission, requesting a second term for Democrat Luis Aguilar and naming former SEC staffer Dan Gallagher Jr. for a Republican seat that is due to become vacant in June…The SEC is an independent federal agency with five commissioners.

LinkedIn prices IPO at $45 a share (MarketWatch)
LinkedIn had raised its IPO pricing range earlier this week to between $42 and $45 a share, from $32 to $35 a share — thanks to strong demand. The public offering is expected to raise roughly $217 million for the company.

Yen falls as Japan enters recession (FT)
Gross domestic product fell by an annualised 3.7 per cent in the first three months, after a revised fall of 3 per cent in last quarter of 2010. Analysts had expected the economy to contract by just 1.9 per cent. A further contraction is expected in the second quarter before the economy rebounds as reconstruction spending kicks in, although the Japanese economy has suffered more than a decade of low growth and weak consumer spending.

Obama imposes sanctions on Syrian leader, 6 aides (WaPo)
The Obama administration ramped up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday with economic sanctions that targeted his personal finances and linked him explicitly to human rights abuses in his government’s brutal, two-month-old crackdown on demonstrators. The sanctions, which named six other top Syrian officials, represented a significant escalation in the administration’s public criticism of the Assad regime, marking the first time the ruler was penalized for the ongoing clashes that have left more than 900 people dead and thousands in prison.

Zombie Apocalypse? The CDC Describes How To Be Prepared (HuffPo)
The U.S. government wants to make sure that in the event of a zombie invasion, you know what to do. That’s right. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shocked us all with their post on how to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. The CDC post, “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse,” came out Monday and has been gaining media traction since — the link has been down for much of the day, presumingly due to over-traffic.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

CSCO: Patent Maven Mosaid Fires Latest Round In Flurry Of Suits

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Small-cap ($367 million) patent holder Mosaid Technologies, which is based in Kanata, Ontario, in Canada, this afternoon fired the latest salvo in an ongoing patent battle with Cisco Systems (CSCO), complaining to the U.S. International Trade Commission that Cisco infringed six of its patents on networking technology, including power-over-ethernet, DSL access points, and voice technology for cable modems.

Mosaid, whose shares trade on the Toronto stock exchange under the symbol “MSD,” requested that the ITC halt import of Cisco products to the U.S.

Last August, Mosaid said that Cisco had requested a declaratory judgment of non-infringement of its products in light of nine U.S. patents held by Mosaid and requested a jury trial. Mosaid, beginning in October of 2009, had sent notice to Cisco saying the company infringed some of Mosaid’s 300 patents on various networking technologies, and demanded  Cisco pay for a license.

Mosaid is also suing chip maker Nvidia (NVDA) in the Disctrict Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, accusing the company last month of infringing its patents on power management in integrated circuits. It sued Japanese memory chip maker Elpida Memory in the same jurisdiction a week ago, charging the company infringes its patent on “field effect transistors,” or FETs.

And Mosaid also has a mammoth suit down in Texas, in the Marshall division, filed in March, against numerous companies, including Intel (INTC), Dell (DELL), Research in Motion (RIMM), chip maker Marvell Technology Group (MRVL), and several others, charging them with infringing on six patents relating to wireless technology, in particular as it pertains to wireless area networking.

Mosaid has had some patent victories of late. In December of last year, it got IBM (IBM) to license its technology applicable to application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC).

The company’s fiscal Q2 report last November featured a 17% jump in revenue on the licensing of wireless patents.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Solar: More Positive Nuke Newsflow

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There’s nothing to show it in early trading of First Solar (FSLR) or other solar energy technology providers, but yesterday brought some further positive headlines for alternative energy versus nukes.

Japan’s prime minister said the country would abandon plans to build more nuclear reactors, as Martin Fackler of The New York Times reports.

The company that owns the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power, is expected to book losses of more than $12.4 billion as a result of March’s earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, according to Japan’s Nikkei news service.

Tokyo Electric may receive government bailout funds to help cover costs, which could result in the Japanese government getting “closely involved in the management of Tokyo Electric Power,” according to a write-up this morning by Dow Jones’s Mitsuru Obe.

Germany’s Green Party is demanding all 17 nuclear power plants be shut down by 2017, though the party is apparently working with other officials on a possible “nuclear consensus,” according to a Dow Jones Newswires report this morning.

Another DJ report, by Ryan Tracy, last night reported a nuclear plant in Browns Ferry, Alabama, which was recently shut down, was cited by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for “an equipment failure of high significance,” involving “key safety systems.”

First Solar shares this morning are unchanged at $128.51.

Update: I spoke too soon. First Solar shares are actually down 92 cents, or 0.7%, at $127.59 in early trading.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Opening Bell: 05.10.11

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Paulson Plays the Lehman Bust (WSJ)
Mr. Paulson’s fund has been snatching up Lehman debt at steep discounts since the day the investment bank collapsed, betting prices would rise while panicked investors fled. Now, as Lehman’s estate prepares to wind down, Mr. Paulson’s fund could reap profits between $350 million and $726 million on the Lehman trades…Over two and a half years, Mr. Paulson’s fund, Paulson & Co., purchased more than $7 billion worth of Lehman bonds in about 1,800 transactions. The average cost of those trades was just 13 cents on the dollar, according to the Journal’s analysis.

PIMCO raises bet against U.S. government debt (Reuters)
PIMCO’s Bill Gross, the manager of the world’s largest bond fund, raised his bet against U.S. government-related debt in April to 4 percent from 3 percent, according to the company’s website on Monday.

Morgan Stanley Trading Gains Topped $100 Million on 10 Days (Bloomberg)
The firm’s trading division lost money on 3 days during the period, compared with 13 days in the fourth quarter, New York- based Morgan Stanley said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

BofA to cut $850bn bad loan book in half (FT)
Bank of America plans to shrink its $850bn portfolio of troubled home loans by about half over the next three years as it seeks to quicken the pace with which it resolves problems related to the housing crisis and its disastrous purchase of Countrywide Financial. Terry Laughlin, who is spearheading BofA’s mortgage modification and foreclosure programmes, told the Financial Times he had been given leeway to act quickly to tackle the growing number of bad loans that threaten to overwhelm the bank’s overall performance and tarnish the reputation of Brian Moynihan, its chief executive.

Microsoft Said to Discuss Buying Internet-Call Provider Skype (Bloomberg)
A deal would value Skype at about $8.5 billion and may be announced as early as today, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Alan Simpson Attacks AARP, Says Social Security Is ‘Not A Retirement Program’ (HuffPo)
At an event hosted by the Investment Company Institute, Simpson delighted the finance industry audience members by aiming a rude gesture at the leading lobby for senior citizens.

CME raises crude futures margins 4th time since Feb (Reuters)
Margins will climb by 25 percent as of the close of business on May 10, boosting the cost of holding positions for hedgers and speculators, a factor some traders said helped bring oil prices down by as much as 2 percent on Tuesday following a $5 a barrel spike a day earlier…The cumulative increase in margins on U.S. crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate CLc1 positions since February is 67 percent, from $3,750 to $6,250 per contract.

China Has Bigger-Than-Forecast Surplus on Record Exports (Bloomberg)
China reported a trade surplus that was more than three times larger than forecast in April as exports surged to a record, bolstering the U.S. case for faster yuan gains as officials from both nations meet for annual talks in Washington. The surplus widened to $11.4 billion and exceeded the forecasts of all 27 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Exports climbed 30 percent to $156 billion while import growth slowed to 22 percent, the customs bureau said today.

Euro wobbles, haunted by commodities and debt worries (Reuters)
The common currency, which hit a six-week low against the Japanese yen and a one-month low against the British pound, was also hobbled by fears of a commodities rout after oil prices fell in the wake of the CME Group’s hike in trading margins for U.S. crude futures.

BNP Paribas chairman to retire (FT)
Michel Pébereau, France’s most influential banker, is retiring as chairman of BNP Paribas, the domestic bank he helped transform over two decades.

Reports of Mortgage Fraud Reach Record Level (WSJ)
Reports of mortgage fraud, which have been increasing since the housing boom, rose to their highest level on record in 2010, Treasury Department figures showed. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a Treasury agency, reported 70,472 “suspicious activity reports” related to suspected mortgage fraud, up from 67,507 in 2009, or a 5% increase. That’s the highest number recorded by the government since tracking began in 1996.

A Venture-Capital Newbie Shakes Up Silicon Valley (WSJ)
As a newly minted venture capitalist, Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape, aimed for nothing less than big… Like other investors here, he’d been eying Web companies with explosive growth and global star power. But acquiring shares in tech titans like Facebook is tricky…So Mr. Andreessen set out to make his own rules—maneuvering his way into hot private deals at huge cost.

U.S. Braced for Fights With Pakistanis in Bin Laden Raid (NYT)
President Obama insisted that the assault force hunting down Osama bin Laden last week be large enough to fight its way out of Pakistan if confronted by hostile local police officers and troops, senior administration and military officials said Monday. In revealing additional details about planning for the mission, senior officials also said that two teams of specialists were on standby: One to bury Bin Laden if he was killed, and a second composed of lawyers, interrogators and translators in case he was captured alive.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver announce separation (LA Times)
Shriver has been residing apart from the actor-turned-politician for the last few weeks. The former first couple confirmed the separation in a joint statement released Monday after questions from The Times…Over the years, the marriage between the international celebrity and the daughter of the Kennedy dynasty has come under close scrutiny, especially during the 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis, when The Times reported on Schwarzenegger’s lengthy history of groping women. At the time, Shriver defended her husband, helping lift him to victory in the free-for-all contest.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 05.03.11

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Goldman Chief To Stay In Job At Least Two More Years (NYP)
Lloyd Blankfein, approaching his fifth anniversary running Goldman amid some Wall Street speculation that recent regulatory tussles have left him burned out and looking to step down, is likely to stay put at the helm of Goldman Sachs for at least two years, sources tell The Post.

Morgan Aligned With Commodities Bulls As Goldman Says Sell (Bloomberg)
The surge in everything from oil to corn to gold has yet to crimp demand, inventories are still tight, and getting out now would be “premature,” Hussein Allidina, the head of commodity research at Morgan Stanley in New York, said on April 29. Prices may no longer reflect supply and demand, and they are likely to drop in the next three to six months before rebounding, Goldman said in reports April 11 and April 15.

U.S. Business Has High Tax Rates but Pays Less (NYT)
Topping out at 35 percent, America’s official corporate income tax rate trails that of only Japan, at 39.5 percent, which has said it plans to lower its rate. It is nearly triple Ireland’s and 10 percentage points higher than in Denmark, Austria or China. To help companies here stay competitive, many executives say, Congress should lower it. But by taking advantage of myriad breaks and loopholes that other countries generally do not offer, United States corporations pay only slightly more on average than their counterparts in other industrial countries. And some American corporations use aggressive strategies to pay less — often far less — than their competitors abroad and at home. A Government Accountability Office study released in 2008 found that 55 percent of United States companies paid no federal income taxes during at least one year in a seven-year period it studied.

Buffett Lets The Facts Bury Sokol (Dealbook)
Sorkin: A close friend of Mr. Buffett’s explained his thinking this way. “Warren knew that the second that press release hit the wires, Sokol’s professional career was over. Done. Forever. Sokol was finished. He didn’t need to brag about being ‘ruthless.’ ”

Frank Bill Would Cut Regional Fed Presidents From Rate Votes (Bloomberg)
U.S. Representative Barney Frank, the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, is pushing to remove the power regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents have to weigh in on interest-rate decisions.

India Raises Interest Rates to Battle Inflation (NYT)
In a bid to rein in persistently high inflation, India’s central bank raised interest rates Tuesday more than analysts had expected and signaled that it would be willing to raise borrowing costs even further. The action, which caused the country’s stock market to close 2.4 percent lower, will make it harder for India to achieve the 9 percent growth target set by the government for the current financial year, which ends in March 2012.

Man Group launches $1.5bn Japan fund (Telegraph)
The computer-driven Nomura Global Trend fund was the first onshore Japanese fund to be launched by Man’s AHL unit and will invest in a mixture of assets via three currency baskets, one of which includes the Chinese Yuan.

Greece To Name And Shame Tax Evaders (CNBC)
For those not paying their taxes in full the warning is stark; the Greek government plans to make an example of someone by the “identification and exemplary punishment of large-scale tax evasion.”

Banks Said to Be Quizzed by European Union Over Libor Rates (Bloomberg)
European antitrust regulators, who last week opened probes into 16 banks over credit derivatives, are also examining whether lenders manipulated the daily London interbank offered rate, according to two people familiar with the investigation…“This case will be difficult to prove — and the construction of Libor is such that it is difficult to manipulate as extreme pricing is smoothed out of the calculation,” said Simon Maughan, co-head of European equities at MF Global Ltd. in London.

Nasdaq, NYSE Arca Cancel Trades in Over 50 Stocks (CNBC)
More than 50 companies including pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Merck & Co. were hit with a flurry of bad trades on Monday that later had to be canceled. Most of the trades that were canceled involved companies in the healthcare industry. Many trades occurred at prices far from their closing price. NYSE Arca and Nasdaq decided to cancel all trades 30 percent away from the prior consolidated price, the exchanges said. The trades were made in a purchase of an entire portfolio of shares that were sold together, like in a basket, according to a source familiar with the matter.

North Korea behind cyber attack on S.Korea bank-prosecutors (Reuters)
North Korean computer hackers were responsible for bringing down the network of a South Korean bank last month, prosecutors in Seoul said on Tuesday, in the latest of a string of cyber attacks thought to have originated from the secretive state.

Chase Scuttles Test Of $5 ATM Fees (Tribune)
JPMorgan Chase says it has finished testing $4 and $5 ATM fees for noncustomers in two states, and it is going back to the $3 fees it previously charged.

Bin Laden kill may reopen CIA interrogation debate (Reuters)
One of the key sources for initial information about an al Qaeda “courier” who led U.S. authorities to bin Laden’s Pakistani hide-out was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al Qaeda operative said to have masterminded the September 11, 2001 attacks, a former U.S. national security official said. KSM, as he was known to U.S. officials, was subjected to “waterboarding” 183 times, the U.S. government has acknowledged.

Hustler Club Charges $2 For Ice And $2 For No Ice (Eater)
“Thought you would enjoy this image of our receipt from Hustler Club. $2 for putting our drink on the rocks, and also $2 for taking it neat without rocks.”

Overheard (WSJ)
The death of Osama bin Laden just made President George W. Bush’s appearance as keynote at next week’s SALT hedge-fund gathering in Sin City a much hotter ticket.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Write-Offs: 04.28.11

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$$$ Some of the celebrities seemed at home in BTIG’s frenetic trading environment — Mark Teixera, the Yankees first baseman, was seen resolutely studying a chart showing the correlation between oil prices and the Euro — while others were overwhelmed. “Too much stuff is going on!” said Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher, pointing to the multiple terminal screens flashing at each desk. “It all looks like Japanese writing to me, man.” “This is just as stressful as playing baseball,” Mr. Strawberry said. [Dealbook]

$$$ Rajaratnam Lawyer Dowd Shares War Stories, Vacation Plans [Bloomberg]

$$$ Matthew Goldstein: Phil Falcone said the SEC probes are “informal” and that no criminal or enforcement charges have been brought against the firm. He also said the firm is “cooperating with these investigations.” [Reuters]

$$$ 2004 Speech Shows That Bernanke Won’t Ease More [NetNet]

$$$ “Look, the news is that I’m much richer than everyone thinks,” Trump says, possibly for the 11th time in one afternoon. “I’m worth more than $7 billion, with hundreds of millions in cash. That’s after paying off mortgages, after buying airplanes…Most people think I’m worth two billion. They don’t know.” He adds, “You know, I don’t even have mortgages.” [BusinessWeek]

$$$ Former SAC analyst settles insider charges with SEC [Reuters]

$$$ How Warren Buffett Protégé David Sokol Lost His Way [BusinessWeek]

$$$ A heroic Bronx parking garage worker thwarted a robbery when he somehow managed to push a suspect wielding a massive butcher knife and his alleged accomplice out of the building, police said. The attendant’s weapon of choice? An apple. [NBCNY]

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Japan’s Gree buys OpenFeint mobile social game platform for $104M

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Japanese mobile social network Gree has purchased mobile social game platform operator OpenFeint for $104 million.

Yes, it’s time to start yelling “The Japanese are coming. The Japanese are coming.” Gree’s purchase of the Burlingame, Calif.-based startup follows the $403 million acquisition of mobile game firm Ngmoco by Japan’s DeNA, which is a big rival of Gree’s. The deal shows that mobile is heating up and multiple companies see the value of building a platform that helps mobile games get discovered.

Like Ngmoco, OpenFeint operates a social platform for mobile games. By adopting OpenFeint’s development platform, mobile game makers can make their games more social, more discoverable, and easily cross-promoted. OpenFeint provides features such as multiplayer challenges, leaderboards, and cross promotion.

Gree has more than 25 million users and a market value of $3 billion in Japan, where it operates a social mobile game platform where users can buy games, socialize and interact with all sorts of content. OpenFeint has more than 5,000 games using its platform, and those games have more than 75 million users across iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) and Android devices.

Gree is going to provide OpenFeint with additional operating capital to accelerate the platform’s growth. In contrast to Ngmoco and DeNA, Gree and OpenFeint will not build a uniform gaming network for all consumers worldwide. Rather, they will create tailored products for specific markets. It plans to provide OpenFeint and Gree services on a global level.

Jason Citron, chief executive of OpenFeint, will remain as CEO. He and the OpenFeint team will have long-term incentives and grow the company into a “multi-billion dollar business.” That’s consistent with the business vision of Neil Young, chief executive of Ngmoco, as stated in an interview with VentureBeat.

Gree said it understands that there is a shift in gaming expectations toward higher-quality expectations and that social is now driving gaming. That’s why the company did this deal. OpenFeint is funded by YouWeb, the incubator headed by mobile and social gaming entrepreneur Peter Relan. DeNA had a stake in OpenFeint but evidently it sold that off or is selling it off now. OpenFeint said it hopes to double its headcount within the year, although that is easier said than done in Silicon Valley, where there is a talent shortage.

“At Gree, we are socializing the next evolution of games and, as the best-in-class US-based mobile social network, OpenFeint is the ideal partner for us to offer the best mobile social games to the largest global audience,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, founder and CEO of Gree, in a statement.

“This acquisition further emphasizes Gree’s commitment to providing the first and best global gaming ecosystem, with both the developer and consumer in mind,” says Naoki Aoyagi, CEO of Gree International, the subsidiary that recently opened an office in San Francisco. Gree International will now be merged into OpenFeint. Gree has 24 million users on its mobile social network. Recently, Gree teamed up with feature-phone based mobile social network Mig33.

In an interview, Takafumi Kawane, vice president business operations for Gree International, said in an interview that there is no point in Gree duplicating the business of OpenFeint in North America and vice versa for Gree in Japan. Gree has more than 400 employees that work on the company’s social network service and its games in Japan. Gree has seven of its own games on feature phones in Japan and its service hosts hundreds of other games from third parties. In the fiscal year ending March 31, the company is targeting revenues of $700 million.

Citron said in an interview this evening that the move will accelerate OpenFeint’s expansion around the world. The company has offices in Silicon Valley, London and Beijing now. Developers will benefit because they can create games that can run on the social platforms of OpenFeint, Gree, and Mig33 without having to rewrite them (once the companies create their joint applications programming interface). Citron thinks that OpenFeint has a multi-billion dollar opportunity as smartphones and tablets will become the dominant devices of the new era.

“The economic opportunity here is so tremendous and gaming is the killer app,” Citron said. “We are at the beginning of a new age.”

Citron acknowledged that the purchase price wasn’t as big as other deals, but he said the deal was structured so that it will have a bigger payoff for OpenFeint employees down the road if they hit their milestones. He also confirmed that DeNA is no longer a part owner of OpenFeint.


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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

Opening Bell: 04.21.11

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Morgan Stanley Profit Drops, Beats Estimates as Trading Revenue Jumps (Bloomberg)
Net income fell 45 percent to $968 million, or 50 cents a share, from $1.78 billion, or 99 cents, a year earlier, the bank said today in a statement. Earnings from continuing operations, excluding a 26-cent loss tied to a Japanese joint venture and a 30-cent tax gain, were 46 cents a share. That compared with the 40-cent average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Ex-Goldman Sachs Banker Starts Hedge Fund Analyzing Japanese Blog Traffic (Bloomberg)
Former Goldman Sachs Group banker Hideki Furusho and a University of Tokyo professor have teamed up to create a hedge fund that invests in Nikkei 225 futures based on a computer model that analyzes Japanese blogs.

At Facebook Townhall, Obama Goes On Offensive (WSJ)
“The Republican budget that was put forward I would say is fairly radical. I wouldn’t call it particularly courageous,” Mr. Obama said. Mr. Obama offered a dire description of the budget drafted by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. He said it would reduce taxes for corporations and the wealthy by cutting funds to clean energy programs and transportation. “I guess you could call that bold. I would call it shortsighted,” Mr. Obama said to applause from an audience of mostly young people. “I do think Mr. Ryan is serious,” Mr. Obama added. “He’s a patriot.”

BlackRock First Quarter Profit Gets Boost From Popular ETFs (Reuters)
The New York-based firm earned $819 million, or $2.96 per share, excluding some expenses, compared with $727 million, or $2.40 per share, a year earlier, BlackRock said on Thursday.

Weil: Geithner Downgrades His Own Credibility To Junk (BusinessWeek)
Fox Business reporter Peter Barnes began his televised interview with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner two days ago with this question: “Is there a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?” Geithner’s response: “No risk of that.” “No risk?” Barnes asked. “No risk,” Geithner said.

GE Profit, Revenue Beat Street View (Reuters)
The world’s biggest maker of jet engines and electric turbines said earnings attributable to common shareholders came to $3.36 billion, or 31 cents per share, up from $1.87 billion, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 6 percent to $38.45 billion.

Bernanke Plans To Make Voice Heard (WSJ)
Next Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will do something no Fed chief has done before: Stand before a room full of journalists after officials conclude a policy meeting and answer questions about the central bank’s decisions…”You can argue that the chairman of the Fed is more important than the president of the United States, but very few Americans understand what the Fed does,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who successfully pushed for the Fed to disclose more about its secretive bank lending. Addressing the press, Mr. Sanders says, will be “a step forward.”

Greece Seeks Probe Into Debt Restructuring Rumor (Reuters)
Greek bank stocks fell 4.58 percent on Wednesday and the broader Athens bourse index lost 2.62 percent, underperforming pan-European indices on what traders said where rumors, spread by email, that the country would soon restructure its debt…”The ministry urgently requested the prosecutor’s office to launch a criminal investigation regarding the move in the Athens Stock Exchange and the bond market,” the ministry said in a statement.

Taco Bell Demands Apology After Lawsuit Is Withdrawn (CT)
On Wednesday, the fast-food chain decided to trumpet that good news with full-page ads in 10 major U.S. newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, demanding an apology. The company pegged the ads at a total cost of between $3 million and $4 million. “Would it kill you to say you’re sorry?” the ad exclaimed. “Sure, they could have just asked us if our recipe uses real beef. Even easier, they could have gone to our Web site where the ingredients in every one of our products are listed for everyone to see,” the ad read. “But that’s not what they chose to do.

New Swiss Tax Rules Signal Big Changes for Private Banks (NYT)
Switzerland aims to sign new treaties by the summer with Germany and Britain under which their citizens would pay taxes on more of their undeclared assets in Swiss banks. France and Italy are expected to follow suit.

Business Group Vows Support for U.S. Lawmakers to Cut Deficits (Bloomberg)
“The business community strongly supports a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan and will support members of Congress who help get it enacted,” according to a statement from the Committee for Economic Development released today in Washington. “Serious deficit reduction cannot be painless, and no one should expect or demand that the spending and revenue provisions they care most about will not be touched.”

Regulators Serve Up Alphabet Soup (WSJ)
Banks that decide they don’t want to belong to this exclusive, heavily regulated club should beware the “Hotel California.” This provision of Dodd-Frank, named in homage to the Eagles lyric that “you can check out any time you like but you can never leave,” ensures a taxpayer-aided bank can’t “de-SIFI” simply by shrinking its assets. Jargon purists, who prefer acronyms to Eagles songs, can find particularly rich pickings in the dozens of new rules affecting swaps, futures and options. A round-table event held by regulators last fall invited the public—”seating on a first-come, first-served basis”—to discuss DCOs, DCMs, SDs, MSPs, SEFs and SB SEFs. Such acronyms “remain strictly for the Dodd-Frank cognoscenti,” says Margaret Tahyar, a partner at law firm Davis Polk. Some of these terms will remain obscure. But some will enter the corporate lexicon, perhaps graduating to be the SECs and FDICs of their day.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Apple: iPhone 5 In September, Reuters Sources Say

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Reuters’s Kelvin Soh this morning writes that three anonymous sources “with direct knowledge of the company’s supply chain” have told him that Apple’s (AAPL) next iPhone will ship in September, following rumors of the same from other sources in recent weeks.

One source says that production is to start in July and that the size and shape of the device will be similar to the current model.

Soh reports the sources saying Apple’s suppliers for the device include camera module maker Largan Precision Co Ltd; touchscreen panel maker Wintek Corp; and case maker Foxconn Technology Co Ltd.

Another report out this morning by the staff at Electronista claims that Toshiba has won the contract to be a supplier of displays for forthcoming iPhone models, citing Japanese media sources.

Apple shares this morning are are up $4.22, or 1.3%, at $342.08.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily