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Spotify continue to grow

Spotify continue to grow

SpotifyMusic streaming service Spotify got 2.5 million new subscribers who pay for its services, and total 10 million subscribers in the last two months of 2014. This is despite increasing competition and criticism from the stars to the service. Spotify announced that at the end of 2014 had a total of 60 million active users, 15 million of them using the paid service, who pay a monthly fee of 10 USD.The growth of the company market stake and customers is with 40% compared to 40 million active users in May last year.

Spotify has its own business model that combines paid and free service. It was in the center of the discontent of the musicians on remuneration paid to their company. Last year, Spotify published detailed information about the way in which remuneration is paid to appease the angry artists, but many of them continue the angry communication. Taylow Swift decided to withdraw her catalogue from the music service. Eventually her album “1989” proved to be the best-selling 2014 with 3.66 million copies sold. In turn Spotify continually defend its business model and argues that the expansion will grow and remuneration of performers. In the blog post that the company made in November, the CEO of the company Daniel Ek said that the business model of Spotify e essential for its growth.

Music streaming fast becoming the number one choice for users who want to listen to music. Streaming reported 54% growth from 106 billion listened songs in 2013 to 164 billion songs listened in 2014. The paid music downloads even declined by 12% last year. In 2013 downloaded songs were 1.2 billion, while in 2014 - 1.1 billion.

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Wells Fargo quarterly profit grew with 1.8%

Wells Fargo quarterly profit grew with 1.8%

Wells FargoThe Wells Fargo quarterly profit rose 1.8% after the bank has achieved a strong growth in lending, which managed to overshadow rising costs. The bank reported net profit of 5.71 billion USD compared with the result of 5.61 billion USD an year earlier. The earnings per share does that indicates the payment of preferred dividends, rose 1.02 USD compared to 1 USD an year earlier. The revenues of Wells Fargo increased by 3.8% to 21.44 billion USD, while analysts expected earnings per share amount at 1.02 USD and revenue of 21.23 billion USD.

The costs of the company, however, also reported an increase. Non-interest expenses rose 4.7% from an year earlier to reach 12.65 billion USD. Wells Fargo, led by Chairman and CEO John G. Stumpf was the favorite for the stock market among the major banks in recent years. The position of the largest US bank by market value Wells Fargo has helped the recovery of the US economy, marking 18 consecutive quarters of profit growth.

Lending remained bright beam for Wells Fargo. The total amount of loans grew by 4.9% year on year to 862.55 billion USD. The CFO John Shrewsberry also focus on the strengths of the proceeds from bank loans, adding that revenues from fees have remained stable. According to the report on housing loans reached 44 billion USD compared to 50 billion USD an year earlier and 48 billion USD in the previous quarter. The mortgage loans were for 1.52 billion USD, down with 3.5% from an year earlier.

Fourth US bank by assets, is considered by many analysts as a conservative institution that is not obsessed with expansion of its operations, which make it successful in the era of boom.

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Lindt reported 17% sales growth in 2014

Lindt reported 17% sales growth in 2014. Positive data are supported by the acquisition of Russell Stover Candies, which make the company the third largest producer of chocolate in North America. Profit of Lindt & Spruengli rose to 3.39 billion CHF (3.34 billion USD), adding 9.8%, without taking into account acquisitions and currency fluctuations, said Tuesday the Switzerland company. The analysts had expected 3.2 billion CHF in sales 8.4% growth shows analysts’ forecasts.

Russell Stover, the largest producer of packaged chocolate in the US will increase the income of the Swiss company in North America to more than 1.5 billion USD in 2015, Lindt said last year. Completed in September the acquisition of the company brought Lindt in front of Nestle on the North American chocolate market, giving its 8% market stake.

Lindt standing target for organic sales growth of 6% to 8% per year. The company projects to improve the profit margin before interest and taxes by 20 points to 40 points for 2014, excluding the acquisition of Russel Stover. Including acquisition, the level of Ebit is expected to be approximately the same as in 2013. In December of Lindt Cafe in Sydney was the scene of a 16-hour siege by Islamist terrorist. In the incident, two of the hostages and their captor killed in the firefight. The terrorist make some of the 17 hostages to raise the black flag of the Islamic State of the cafe window.

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US bank failures reached 7-year low

The number of US bank failures at the end of 2014 reached its lowest level since 2007, according to the Commission on deposit insurance (FDIC). The last time on 19th December 2014, the Commission stopped the activities of Northern Star Bank in Minnesota. The creditor became the eighteenth bank that closed its doors in the country last year. In 2007, the US went bankrupt only three financial institutions, while in 2010 this figure reached a historic high of 157 banks. In 2012, 51 were declared bankrupt banks, and in 2013 - 24.

Since the crisis US banks have significantly improved their balance sheets, while expanded lending and profits. However, the number of bankruptcies in the sector is still higher than before the crisis, when the number of failed financial institutions for years was one digit. The number of problem institutions in the US declined for 14 consecutive quarters. As of September 30, 2014 their number was 329 compared to 354 at the end of June, according to the Commission on deposit insurance.

A maximum level of 888 problem banks was recorded in January-March 2011. In the period before the crisis of 2007 in the informal list included only 76 financial institutions. FDIC insures deposits up to 250,000 dollars. The scope of the authority currently fall 6589 banks and savings institutions.

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Verizon negotiate for acquisition of AOL

The US telecommunications company Verizon negotiate for acquisition of AOL or joint venture with the with multinational media company, as it wants to expand its proposals in the field of mobile video services, according to sources familiar with the situation. Verizon has not made a formal offer to AOL and so far not concluded any agreement. Verizon is interested mainly from program advertising technology to AOL, through which can automatically buy and sell online advertising.

Sources say the two companies could combine their activities in future product related to the online video. Only a few years ago refused a deal with AOL Time Warner, and its chief executive Tim Armstrong transformed web portal to a different company. A joint venture will allow Verizon to focus on technology ads at a time in which the company aims to gain more experience in three areas - content online and mobile video ads.

Research firm Emarketer predicted in July that mobile advertising will lead to increase in cost of media advertising in the United States, and advertisers will spend 83% more means to reach consumers in tablets and smartphones, compared to 2013. In nominal value increase from 8.04 billion USD. If the transaction is concluded, Verizon will receive 2.3 million USD. Paying customers of AOL, as well as brands such as Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engagdget. AOL paid in 2010 around 25 million USD for the news blog TechCrunch.

The both companies Verizon and AOL declined to comment the possible acquisition. However, the rumors about the acquisition or joint-venture sank the shares of AOL on NYSE.

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Airbus finally delivered the first airplane A350 XWB

After delay of several years and reconstructions for billion USD, the European aviation concern Airbus finally delivered the first airplane A350 XWB (Extra Wide Body). During a ceremony in Toulouse wide-machine designed for long-haul flights was handed over to the customer Qatar Airways. This is the first passenger aircraft of a new generation of air-concern after A380. The model A350 will compete with the 777 and 787 Dreamliner American Boeing. Airbus A350 reconstruct the original to make it more economical and market-oriented.

The standard configuration with three classes called A350-900, accommodates 315 passengers and can travel 14,500 kilometers. Planned is a longer version of 369 passengers (A350-1000), which deliveries will begin in 2017. The planned short version A350-800, however, fell victim at the expense of the modernized version of the jets for long flights A330. With more economical engines and other improvements created 20 years ago aircraft will experience a second youth under the name A330neo.

Qatar turn its efforts to become a leading aviation hub amid preparations to host the World Cup in 2022. Due to its new twin machines Airbus (A350) and rival Boeing (Dreamliner) promise significant fuel savings by up to 25%. Accordingly, carbon emissions will be reduced. Originally conceived as a modern version of the old A330, A350 was designed as a completely new aircraft after criticism from airlines.

The basic version A350-900 worth 295.5 million USD cash on list price. So far, Airbus has received orders for 778 units of the new aircraft. The initial delivery of the first A350 to Qatar Airways was scheduled for early December, but was again postponed, but not the fault of Airbus.

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More Businesses Are Using Performance Bonds as Economy Struggles

In the face of economic struggle, the construction industry has taken something of a hit. Now, more companies are using performance bonds and surety bonds in a bid to boost confidence within the sector.

Following the 2008 economic crisis, the construction industry was hit in a substantial way. Now, the industry is recovering and surviving. But, more companies are keen to use a form of protection when it comes to completing projects.

In the face of economic recovery, large corporations want to ensure that contractors are committed to  projects. The economy is slowly taking shape and the industry now surviving. Little wonder people are keen to use these kinds of guarantees. In the face of the credit crunch, many business owners were left out of pocket. This was when construction companies failed to get through the difficult financial period. Now, as the economy is picking up, companies want to make sure that their projects are completed with minimum fuss.

The Prevalence of Performance Bonds

As businesses are now coming out of the darkness of the recession, they want to mitigate risks in every way possible. The use of performance bonds is the best way of mitigating and minimising risk within the industry. For many sectors, particularly the construction sector, bonds are a security that the job will be undertaken. With this, they can ensure payment as part of this process. This means that they offer a level of protection to all parties. So, even if a contractor faces insolvency, the company can still recoup their costs. You can find more details at

The issue of performance bonds can leave some contractors feeling defeated. But, for many professionals they are keen to ensure that the working relationship does not flounder. Now, more and more businesses are eager to use these kinds of bonds to determine payment processes during the slow recovery.

Large-Scale Impact

Within the construction industry, performance bonds are often viewed as significant. It ensures that payments are made within a timely manner. But, it also ensures that the demands of the company are met.

With the economy recovering slowly, the need for performance bonds has had a large impact on the construction industry. More contractors are happy to use them, even if the bond does result in immediate payments. As such, these bonds can guarantee a positive working relationship. What is more, they can set out the terms and conditions of the project in a more robust way. A performance bond, therefore, is now being used more than ever. Due to the uncertain nature of the construction industry in previous years, there is a need to safeguard companies. Risk mitigation is at the heart of the construction industry once more.

What Can Be Learnt From This?

More companies are keen to use these kinds of bonds. It is now vital that contractors become comfortable working with them. Insurance was once enough to provide assurance. But, the previous economic failures have seen a greater need for tighter controls around payment. More companies than ever need a guarantee that they will be paid for the contract roles that are undertaken.

The need for risk mitigation is needed more than ever within the construction industry.

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Rosatom will deliver 12 nuclear reactors to India

Russian state company Rosatom will deliver 12 nuclear reactors to India in next 20 years. Signed Thursday in Delhi Agreement aims to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the field of nuclear energy. Now only one 1000-megawatt reactor works in the Russian built NPP Kudankulam in the state of Tamilnadu and the second reactor to be delivered in 2015. The Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted Rosatom to increase the number of reactors that can deliver to 25.

Indian representatives noted that six reactors will be built in Kudankulam Atomic Power Plant and other six will be for an object that has not yet been determined.

Putin is visiting Delhi for talks with Indian leaders to strengthen trade and energy cooperation with the third largest economy in Asia amid Western sanctions threatening to lead to a recession Russian economy. It is expected that the head of state to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee.

The discussions will focus on deepening ties between the two countries at a time when said that Delhi is closer to the US, especially in areas such as defense and investment. According to Indian officials today are expected to be signed over 20 agreements in defense, space cooperation and energy.

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Merck in negotiations for acquisition of Cubist Pharmaceuticals

The US pharmaceutical company Merck is in advanced negotiations for the acquisition of a manufacturer of antibiotics Cubist Pharmaceuticals. The deal is estimated at over 7 billion USD. Merck will pay 100 USD per share and the deal could be announced by the end of the week. The deal with these values would be a 34% premium over the share price of Cubist of 5th December 2014. From Cubist Pharmaceuticals said it plans to introduce four new medicines by 2020 in treatment of bacterial infections resistant to other treatments because of overuse. The increasing threat of drug-resistant germs make public health authorities to urge companies to invest in new antibiotics. This field has generally been abandoned, since the medicine manufacturers were focused on the more profitable treatments for cancer and hepatitis C.

The CEO of Merck Kenneth Frazier said that the second largest pharmaceutical producer in USA tries to make small to medium-sized acquisitions in areas that would complement its arsenal of treatments. The company is not interested in big deals that are “very time-consuming and distract us from what we have here, namely to invest in new medicines”, said Kenneth Frazier in July. In late September, Merck had cash and equivalent funds worth 14.3 billion USD and total debt worth 27.8 billion USD.

Cubicin, the best-selling medicine of Cubist, was approved by the US Administration Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2003 for combating serious skin infections. In 2006, its use was extended to infections of the blood vessels. Cubicin generates more than 80% of sales of Cubist. According to the prediction of Massachusetts-based company analysis Lexington sales will reach 2 billion USD by 2017.

Cubist products can complement their program to combat infectious diseases Merck. One of his experimental drugs Relebactam was placed on the list for quick FDA approval in September. Relebactam inhibit beta-lactamase - an enzyme which is created by certain bacteria inducing resistance to commonly used antibiotics, including penicillin.

Relebactam also received designation as a qualified product to fight infections. The status will give him an additional five years of exclusive market, as it has been approved. The US Centers for Control and Prevention of Diseases said antibiotic resistance kills at least 23,000 Americans a year, making it “one of the most serious threats to health”. The share price of Cubist saw a 26% increase, reaching 93.50 USD in late hours of the US market on 5th December 2014, before falling to 91.25 USD. The Merck’s shares rose with 0.9% to 61.49 USD per share in New York.

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Statoil may cancel cooperation with Rosneft

Statoil may cancel cooperation with Rosneft, as part of the sanctions of EU and USA against the Russian company. The Norwegian oil and gas company states that now they continue the cooperation with the Russian oil giant, but the local authorities insist for implementation of the sanctions. Statoil is in constant dialogue with the authorities in order to obtain authorization to continue cooperation on various fronts with the Russian company. To date part of our joint projects with Rosneft has already been completed, including surveys in the Barents and Okhotsk Sea, while others are still in the earliest stages of development, stated from Statoil.

Statoil refused to answer the question of how joint projects between the two companies may affect the current situation of the oil markets. The cooperation agreement between Rosneft and Statoil includes studies on the Norwegian shelf, and joint projects in the Russian part of the Barents Sea (Perseevskata area) and in the Sea of Okhotsk (Kashevarovska and Lisyanska areas). The contact was signed in May 2012 and according to the plans between 2016 and 2021 in these areas will be implemented six exploratory drilling.

In 2013 Statoil acquired the right to long-term joint development in the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea shelf. In addition, the partners intend to jointly acquire shale oil in the Samara region.

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