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In the papers 30 July
Tuesday, July 30 2002
by Sylvia Leatham

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Vodafone rises more than 2 percent | US and European markets show dramatic surge

The Irish Times reports that shares in mobile operator Vodafone rose more than 2 percent on Monday. The rise followed the company's announcement of increases in average revenue per user (ARPU) in its two main markets as well as a surge in US subscribers, as reported by ElectricNews.net on Monday. Vodafone shares, which are held by at least 400,000 people in the Republic, climbed 2.65 percent to close at STG0.97 in London.

The paper also says that US and European stocks surged back on Monday, spurred on by hopes that the worst was over. In what traders described as a "relief rally," the Dow Jones Industrial Composite recorded its third-biggest points gain ever, closing up 448 points, a 5.4 percent gain. The Nasdaq rose on hopes that the worst of the corporate scandals were over, finishing up 5.8 percent, a gain of 73 points. European stocks also gained, with London closing up 4.6 percent and Frankfurt 7.9 percent higher. Although analysts cautioned that the rally might not last and that it was driven by bargain hunting, there were strong hopes that the end of the 900-day bear market could be in sight.

The paper also reports that WorldCom has announced the appointment two new executives, Gregory Rayburn as chief restructuring officer and John Dubel as chief financial officer. Read the full story on ElectricNews.net.

The Irish Independent says that Qwest Communications is to restate its financial results for 1999 to 2001 because of accounting errors, as reported by ElectricNews.net on Monday.

The paper also reports that Irish-based electronics outsourcing company MSL has recorded a small profit. Read the full story on ElectricNews.net.

According to the Financial Times, AOL Time Warner and AT&T seem to be nearing a resolution on the issue of how to sort out the ownership of their Time Warner Entertainment (TWE) cable joint venture. The companies have been engaged in months of negotiation over how to end the partnership, which was formed in the mid-1990s. The venture houses the HBO cable TV unit, the Warner Bros film studio and AOL Time Warner's cable TV operation. AOL and AT&T have suspended the registration process for an initial public offering of TWE, implying that the two sides were making progress on the issue, according to people familiar with the situation. A spokeswoman for AOL Time Warner said that discussions were continuing, while AT&T declined to comment.

The same paper reports that Japanese chipmaker Mitsubishi Electric has said that it moved into the black for the first quarter, largely thanks to cost-cutting measures. The company reported net income of YEN857 million (USD7.1 million) for the three months to the end of June, compared with a net loss of YEN11.1 billion a year ago. Sales fell 15 percent to YEN726.8 billion. "We achieved improvements in management throughout the company in terms of fixed costs and materials procurement costs, allowing a speedy improvement in our earnings," the company said.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Global Crossing's former executive David Walsh is likely to spearhead an offer for the assets of the troubled telecoms firm, according to people close to the bidding process. Walsh is now the chairman of venture unit Moneyline Telerate, which is backed by One Equity Partners, the USD3.5 billion private-equity arm of Bank One. Walsh, formerly the company's chief operating officer and sales director, has been reviewing Global Crossing's assets and operating plans at the company's offices in New Jersey. Financial details of a potential bid are not yet clear, but some people involved in the bankruptcy process believe Walsh is a leading contender in the company's asset sale, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

The same paper reports that Computer Associates has said it would voluntarily begin recording stock options awarded to employees as an expense in its regular bookkeeping. The software maker said it would adopt the new accounting practice in its next fiscal year, which ends in March 2004. Advocated by Wall Street luminaries such as investor Warren Buffett and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, booking the cost of stock options is seen by many as a necessary step to rebuild investor confidence in American corporations.

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