Business Highlights

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 28, 2014 at 4:58 pm •  Published: July 28, 2014
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US companies increasingly fish for growth overseas

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Major U.S. companies are starting to reap their most rapid growth in fertile lands of opportunity far from home.

Technology trendsetters Apple Inc., Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Netflix Inc. all mined foreign countries to produce earnings or revenue that exceeded analysts' projections in their latest quarters. Prodded by the steadily rising demand for Internet access and online services in developing countries, these technology companies will likely be wading even deeper into overseas markets for years to come.

The intensifying international focus extends beyond technology. Century-old companies such as Coca-Cola Co. and Ford Motor Co. also are hoping to make more money in countries including China and India.

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Dollar Tree steps up fight, buys Family Dollar

NEW YORK (AP) — The fight for penny pinchers is intensifying.

Dollar Tree said Monday it is buying rival discounter Family Dollar for $8.5 billion, significantly broadening its reach as it looks to fend off Wal-Mart, which has been stepping up its courtship of lower-income customers

The deal makes Dollar Tree the biggest player in the dollar store segment, with its more than 13,000 combined locations eclipsing current leader Dollar General Corp., which has about 11,300.

Dollar stores grew during the recession as people across income groups searched for cheaper options. To attract a broader array of customers, they also expanded their offerings to include more groceries and brand-name products, instead of just the party favors and other knickknacks people often associated with them.

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Zillow buying Trulia to build real estate titan

NEW YORK (AP) — Zillow and Trulia, two companies that changed the way people shop for homes, are combining.

Real estate website operator Zillow Inc. is buying its rival in a $3.5 billion deal that will make the biggest player in the online real estate information market.

Zillow will also become king of real estate listings available on smartphones and tablets — the fastest growing area for listings. Both Zillow and Trulia were founded nearly a decade ago and have capitalized on Americans' increasing preference for researching purchases, including homes, online, rather than relying solely on a real estate agent.

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Russia ordered to pay $50 billion over Yukos

LONDON (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin's government must pay $50 billion for using tax claims to destroy Yukos, once the country's largest oil producer, and its Kremlin-critical CEO, an international court has ruled.

Monday's verdict by the Permanent Court for Arbitration increases the economic and diplomatic isolation of Russia at a time when it faces new, potentially painful sanctions from Western powers.

The court, a body that rules on corporate disputes, said the Russian government owes the money — a huge sum, even for such an oil-rich nation— to the former majority shareholders in Yukos Oil Co.

Moscow vowed to fight the decision, raising the prospect of a new round of legal battles as the shareholders seek to enforce the decision by seizing Russian state-owned assets in 150 countries around the world.

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Lloyds bank settles with US, UK over market fixing

LONDON (AP) — Lloyds Banking Group is paying $369 million to U.S. and British authorities to settle allegations it manipulated a key global interest rate.

Lloyds, one of the world's largest banks, on Monday became the sixth financial firm sanctioned in the international rate-rigging scandal. The U.S. and British regulators said Lloyds attempted to manipulate, and in some cases succeeded, in manipulating the London interbank offered rate, known as LIBOR.

The LIBOR, the rate used by banks to borrow from each other, affects trillions of dollars in contracts around the world, including mortgages, bonds and consumer loans.

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Contracts to buy US homes slip in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in June, as the real estate market appears to have cooled off this summer.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index slipped 1.1 percent to 102.7 last month. The index remains 7.3 percent below its level a year ago.