Parmalat, Morgan Stanley Look to Settle
Morgan Stanley is seeking to settle a $164 million lawsuit by bankrupt dairy company Parmalat Finanziaria and has set aside money to pay for an agreement. The New York bank reserved $140 million from second-quarter earnings to cover legal expenses. Parmalat alleges that several foreign banks, through their financing, helped sustain a decade of fraud at the Milan-based dairy.
South Korean Firm to Build Steel Plant
South Korean steelmaker Posco signed an agreement to build India's biggest steel plant, valued at $12 billion. The plant, with an eventual production capacity of 12 million tons, will be built in the state of Orissa.
It took Posco and the state government nearly a year to sign the agreement because of concerns that the company might exploit the state's mineral resources for its plants elsewhere. Under the agreement, the state government will allow Posco leasing rights to mine up to 600 million metric tons of iron ore for 30 years, but it can export only 30 percent of the quantity, the state's chief secretary said.
Coca-Cola to Restrict Sales Practices
The European Union said it reached a legally binding agreement with Coca-Cola that allows the company to escape a fine but puts restrictions on its sales practices in Europe. Under the deal, which runs through 2010 and formalizes commitments presented by the company in October, Coca-Cola will not be able to make exclusive arrangements with stores and cafes in Europe that stop them from serving rival brands or offer them rebates for buying more of its bands.
The company also will not be allowed to force retailers to stock its less popular brands and must allow retailers issued coolers by Coca-Cola to stock them with rival brands.
If Coca-Cola violates the agreement, it could face fines of up to 10 percent of global sales, the E.U. said.
E.U. Considers How to Curb Energy Use
The European Union may push natural-gas and electricity suppliers to develop services aimed at curbing consumption by a fifth as the E.U. tries to counter a growing dependency on energy imports and meet air-pollution reduction targets. The 25-nation bloc may also encourage trade partners to cut tariffs on energy-efficient products and promote clean vehicles as part of a "doing-more-with-less" campaign.
The E.U. should aim to save 20 percent of its energy use by 2020 to generate savings of $73 billion a year, the European Commission said.
Compiled from staff and news service reports.