Eleanor Catton Is Youngest Winner of Man Booker With ‘Luminaries’ at 28; Catton is only the second New Zealander to win the award

Catton Is Youngest Winner of Man Booker With ‘Luminaries’

ELEANOR-CATTON

Eleanor Catton won the Man Booker Prize tonight with her second novel “The Luminaries.” At 28, she is the youngest author to claim the prize, and she does so with a book whose 832 pages make it the longest winner. Set during the New Zealand gold rush, Catton’s murder mystery overcame competition from the bookies’ favorite, Jim Crace’s “Harvest,” and four other finalists to capture the U.K.’s most prestigious literary award. She accepted the prize, which comes with 50,000 pounds ($80,000), at a black-tie dinner in London’s medieval Guildhall.

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Asia’s Waning Competitiveness Seen in Trade Disconnect: Economy

Asia’s Waning Competitiveness Seen in Trade Disconnect: Economy

Asia’s exporters are failing to benefit from a recovery in advanced nations, putting the onus on policy makers to shift reliance to domestic demand as a driver of economic growth. China’s exports unexpectedly fell last month, while overseas shipments from Taiwan and South Korea also declined. Asia’s export-led growth engine is showing “signs of serious defects,” according to Frederic Neumann, Hong Kong-based co-head of Asian economics at HSBC Holdings Plc, who says the region’s trade data has disappointed over the past couple of years and may be evidence of a loss in competitiveness. The region’s export recovery is faltering even as Europe emerges from its longest recession on record and U.S. manufacturing (NAPMPMI) grows at the strongest pace in more than two years. The International Monetary Fund this month lowered its forecasts for growth in developing Asia for 2013 and 2014 while leaving projections for advanced nations unchanged. Read more of this post

IMI Sells Dispenser Arm to Berkshire Hathaway for $1.1 Billion

IMI Sells Dispenser Arm to Berkshire Hathaway for $1.1 Billion

IMI Plc (IMI) agreed to sell its beverage and snack vending machine business to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A)’s Marmon Group for about $1.1 billion in cash to focus on industrial valves and fluid control systems. IMI’s announcement that it would explore options for its merchandizing unit prompted Marmon to make an approach, the Birmingham, England-based company said in a statement today. Shareholders will receive 620 million pounds ($991 million) of the proceeds, with an additional 70 million-pound pension contribution, it added. The disposal is a landmark transaction for Martin Lamb as he prepares to step down as chief executive officer at the end of the year, after 13 years in the role. He’s betting that focusing on equipment for offices and control systems for chemical plants will help IMI tap demand for energy efficiency. “The disposal of Retail Dispense is a major step for IMI,” Lamb said in a statement. “It positions IMI as a highly differentiated, market leading flow-control business focused entirely on industrial-end markets.”  Read more of this post

Hong Kong Home Prices to Fall Up to 25%, Bank of America Says, bringing prices back to the level around 2011, but even at that, many people would still find it difficult to buy properties

Hong Kong Home Prices to Fall Up to 25%, Bank of America Says

Hong Kong home prices will fall as much as 25 percent from their peak as housing supply increases and the possibility of rising interest rates grows, according to Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit. Prices will drop 5 percent this year and another 15 percent in 2014, Raymond Ngai, a property analyst, told reporters at a briefing in the city today. He declined to give forecasts beyond 2014. UBS AG said yesterday that it expects prices to decline 5 percent in 2013 before dropping 15 percent to 20 percent next year. Read more of this post

South Korea Sees Won-to-Bond Risks as U.S. Impasse Adds Stress

South Korea Sees Won-to-Bond Risks as U.S. Impasse Adds Stress

South Korea warned of risks of volatility in the won and stresses within the nation’s bond market as the U.S. grapples with the threat of a default that could roil the global economy. Prolonged tension over U.S. fiscal policy adds to the danger of increased volatility in financial markets, the finance ministry said in a report prepared for a parliamentary audit today. Bond issuance by companies with low credit ratings may wither, the report said, amid a criminal probe and financial crisis at the Tong Yang Group. Read more of this post

Billionaire Masayoshi Son on Buying Spree as SoftBank Chases Growth

Billionaire Son on Buying Spree as SoftBank Chases Growth

A day after SoftBank Corp. (9984) said it was buying a majority stake in gamemaker Supercell Oy, billionaire Chairman Masayoshi Son is at it again. Japan’s third-largest wireless carrier is in talks to buy a stake in Brightstar Corp., a U.S.-based mobile-phone distributor, the company said in a filing to the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Nikkei newspaper earlier reported the deal could be worth more than 100 billion yen ($1 billion). Read more of this post

Japan politics looms over ANA’s choice between Airbus, Boeing

Japan politics looms over ANA’s choice between Airbus, Boeing

12:56am EDT

By Tim KellyWilliam Mallard and Tim Hepher

TOKYO/PARIS (Reuters) – When Japan Airlines Co broke with decades of tradition by buying long-haul jets from Europe’s Airbus rather than U.S. rival Boeing Co, it informed the Japanese government by email without any prior warning. The deal, worth $9.5 billion at list prices, was a major blow for Boeing, which holds more than 80 percent of Japan’s commercial-aviation market and has been intertwined with U.S-Japan diplomatic relations since shortly after World War Two. Read more of this post

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