UBS falls short on subprime losses
UBS, Europe’s largest bank, reported a greater-than-expected $713 million loss early today, its first quarterly loss in five years. The bank booked more than $3.6 billion in charges from its exposure to U.S. subprime loans, and said further write-downs might still be coming. (Reuters) UBS shares dropped 1 percent in early trading. (MarketWatch) The losses, combined with 300 new job cuts at Bear Stearns yesterday, showed the continuing fallout from the subprime debacle. (AP in The New York Times) “It is going to be tougher, and it’s going to be tougher for quite a while,” said Jane Coffey at Royal London Asset Management. “We’re not really out of the credit crunch time yet.” (Bloomberg)
The Google phone is coming
Google is planning to launch its long-rumored phone service by mid-2008, with the details on the software that will power the phone to be unveiled in the next two weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Google-powered phone will feature applications like Google Maps, GMail, and YouTube, but Google will also open the underlying system to outside software developers. Google faces several challenges, including protecting privacy and getting wireless carriers to play along. “There are a few things carriers control that will always keep them in charge at the end of the day,” said mPortal Inc. CEO D.P. Venkatesh. (The Wall Street Journal)
GM invests ’green’ in China
General Motors announced plans to open a research center in China that will focus on hybrid engines and other advanced technologies. The wholly owned center will be on a planned $250 million GM campus in Shanghai. GM, in a joint venture, will sell a million cars in China this year, making China the automaker’s second-largest market. (The New York Times, free registration required) GM “will be able to enjoy low-cost R&D while getting better access to the local market and probably winning more government support,” said Mei Xinyu, an analyst at the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing. (Los Angeles Times, free registration required)
China leads IPO race
China’s surging stock markets raised $14.3 billion in initial public offerings in the third quarter, more than in any other country, Ernst & Young reports today. Three of the Top 10 IPOs were in China, including the Bank of China’s listing on the Shanghai exchange. The No. 2 IPO award for the quarter goes to Brazil, with $9.3 billion in raised capital, and the U.S. comes in at the No. 3 slot, with $8.3 billion. “There is no doubt emerging markets are the engine of the world economy, and IPOs are one of the things we see it through,” said Gil Forer, Ernst & Young’s global director of IPO initiatives. (Reuters)