Monday, 20 August 2007

News By TimesOnline

Google has taken a stake in, the Chinese social networking site in trying to broaden its presence in the world’s second-largest online market. A spokesman for the search company confirmed that Google has invested in Reports in China suggested the holding could be as much as 60%. Google has struggled to break into the Chinese market, despite changing its name in the territory to “Gu Ge” and controversially agreeing to toe Beijing’s line on online censorship. In the search market, the domestic leader with about 60% of the market, has nearly three times Google's number of users (source: Timesonline)

The board of Nasdaq, the US electronic stock exchange, said today that it had hired JP Morgan and UBS to explore the best ways to sell its 31 per cent stake in the London Stock Exchange. Nasdaq said it believed that its own current share price did not "adequately reflect the value of its stake in the LSE". It said it would use approximately $1 billion (£503 million) of proceeds from any sale to retire senior term debt and intends to use the remainder to repurchase shares. It said it estimated that selling the stake would increase its standalone earnings per share for 2008 by approximately 30c to 35c. Shares in LSE instantly jumped, gaining 32p in early trading to £13.02, as traders bet that Nasdaq would sell the stake at above the current share price and that if it was sold in one block to a rival exchange it would trigger a takeover bid for the LSE. At current prices Nasdaq's 61.3 million LSE shares are worth £798 million. Nasdaq chief executive Bob Greifeld had made his own takeover offer for the LSE but had been rebuffed by LSE chief executive Clara Furse and her board. Nasdaq's separate attempt to takeover the pan-Scandinavian bourse OMX has also been trumped by the state of Dubai. The LSE is in the process of buying the Borsa Italiana, the Italian stock exchange, in a transaction which would have diluted Nasdaq's holding (By: Robert Lindsay – Timesonline)

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