Gulf rig owner rejects subpoenas
NEW ORLEANS » The owner of the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico is refusing to honor subpoenas from a federal board that has challenged the company’s involvement in monitoring the testing of a key piece of equipment that failed to stop the oil spill disaster.
Transocean said the U.S. Chemical Safety Board does not have jurisdiction in the probe, so it doesn’t have a right to the documents and other items it seeks. The board told the Associated Press late yesterday that it does have jurisdiction and it has asked the Justice Department to intervene to enforce the subpoenas.
Storm cost an estimated $1B in sales
ATLANTA » The blizzard that swept through the Northeast on Sunday and Monday delayed $1 billion in retail spending, according to research firm ShopperTrak, but won’t derail a holiday shopping season expected to be the best since 2007.
The effect won’t be as bad as last year’s pre-Christmas snowstorm that similarly paralyzed parts of the East Coast. That cost retailers an estimated $2 billion, according to weather research firm Planalytics. About $10 billion in retail sales usually occurs Dec. 26-27, ShopperTrak says. Bad weather likely delayed about 10 percent of that.
The storm’s effects weren’t enough to change ShopperTrak’s estimate for a 4 percent gain over last year in revenue for the Nov. 1-Dec. 31 holiday season. Retailers will still see much of the spending when shoppers return to stores as streets are cleared and transportation restored.
China’s stocks poised for rebound
SHANGHAI » China’s stocks, the worst-performing equities market among major developing countries this year, are poised to rebound in 2011 as the government keeps inflation under control, according to investor Mark Mobius.
Consumer prices will stay at "tolerable" levels, easing investor concerns about excessive tightening of monetary policy after two interest-rate increases since October, Mobius said in response to e-mailed questions. Mobius oversees about $40 billion as executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group,
The Shanghai Composite Index has plunged 16 percent this year, the most among benchmark equity gauges for the 21 nations in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
Woman arrested in insider trading
NEW YORK » A California woman who allegedly tipped off two portfolio managers about the unannounced earnings of technology companies is the latest person arrested in a federal crackdown on consultants and others who specialize in feeding inside information to hedge funds, federal authorities said yesterday.
Winifred Jiau, 43, was ordered detained until a Monday bail hearing in federal court in San Francisco. She had been arrested Tuesday at her Fremont, Calif., home. Her lawyer, Josh Cohen, did not immediately return a message for comment.
Jiau was charged with securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud for accepting more than $200,000 over a two-year period from an expert networking firm that promises to provide "institutional money managers and analysts with market intelligence" through a "Global Advisory Team of Experts," according to a release from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Although the name of the firm was not in court papers, the same language had been used after previous arrests to refer to Primary Global Research, a Mountain View, Calif.-based firm that advertised consulting services to investors on industry trends, issues and regulations.
Star-Advertiser staff and news services