US: Twitter has eye on SoundCloud

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US

Twitter has eye on SoundCloud

Microblogging platform Twitter was in talks with Berlin-based audio sharing website SoundCloud in its efforts to add a music service to its offering, the Financial Times reported yesterday, citing people familiar with the matter. Twitter had weighed up deals worth billions of dollars and also considered buying music-streaming service Spotify and internet radio provider Pandora Media, the newspaper said. SoundCloud is a platform that enables people to upload, record, promote and share their music and other audio files. The company has aggressively expanded its capabilities to carry multimedia content. Last year, it acquired We Are Hunted, a three-person music streaming start-up from Australia. – Reuters

NIGERIA

Stability is key – new governor

Nigeria’s central bank governor Godwin Emefiele pledged yesterday to maintain stability in the currency and signalled the bank might begin cutting interest rates. “The bank will continue to focus on maintaining exchange rate stability and preserve the value of the domestic currency,” he said at his first press conference since taking office on Tuesday. “We shall pursue a gradual reduction in interest rates.” Emefiele was chosen to replace Lamido Sanusi, who was suspended in February for what President Goodluck Jonathan called “financial recklessness and misconduct”, allegations Sanusi has denied. Emefiele said a devaluation of the naira was “not an option” and would be “devastating” for Africa’s biggest economy. – Bloomberg

RUSSIA

FDI to halve on Ukraine conflict

Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to Russia would fall to half of last year’s level in 2014 as the conflict with Ukraine prompted companies to delay expansion, the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies said yesterday. Russian FDI would fall to e30 billion (R439bn) from e59.7bn last year, the steepest decline in eastern Europe, the institute said in a report. Inflows to the 23 east European countries it tracks would decline to e72.9bn from last year’s e97.3bn, the institute forecast. – Bloomberg

UK

M&S bosses say no to pay rise

Marks & Spencer (M&S) chief executive Marc Bolland has declined to be considered for a pay increase for a fourth year running after the UK’s largest clothing retailer again fell short of targets. His total pay for the year to March 29 fell 26 percent to £1.59 million (R28.6m) after he and all the staff missed out on any bonus, M&S said in its annual report published yesterday. Bolland’s basic salary was unchanged at £975 000. The grocer and general dealer failed to meet sales and profitability goals set after Bolland joined in 2010. In his first year, he forecast sales of as much as £12.5bn in the year through March 2014, a target he later cut to as much as £11.5bn. Last month, M&S reported annual revenue of £10.3bn. All the retailer’s executive directors had asked not to be considered for a pay increase, the annual report said. Directors entitled to payouts under a performance share plan will receive only 7.6 percent of the maximum amount they could have earned when the three-year plan reaches maturity in July, according to the report. – Bloomberg


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