Apple’s Market Share Declines in China and 3 High Demand Hot Stocks

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) arranges a senior secured credit facility of €1.615 billion that would enhance its liquidity profile, extent its maturity profile over the next several years and provide the flexibility required to implement its Performance Program which has a cost reduction target of €1.25 billion. With maturities between 3 and a half to 6 years, the facility would be secured by, among other things, the intellectual property portfolio of the company.

Though the iPhone 5 has 300,000 pre-orders via China Unicom, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) lack of a tie-up with China Mobile, the country’s biggest carrier, may now be hurting. The two companies have been talking for four years but have been unable to sort out technical issues initially, and more recently, commercial terms such as a business model, revenue sharing and articles of cooperation. Meanwhile, Apple’s market share in China, the world’s largest market for smart phones, declined to the sixth position during the September quarter as per IDC. The launch of the iPhone 5 was conspicuous by the absence of the kind of frenzy seen when the iPhone 4 made its debut last year – there was just a lone customer waiting outside Apple’s Shanghai store at 9 a.m. Meanwhile, the competition, such as from Samsung, Lenovo and upstart Chinese brand Coolpad, continues to make inroads into the market.

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Dutch company AkzoNobel, the world’s biggest paint maker, is selling its North American decorative paints business to US competitor PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) for $1.1 billion. Known for its Glidden paint brand, the business turned profitable only recently in the context of an improving US housing market. The Dutch group was hesitant to invest the time and money required to turn the business into a significant player. After the acquisition, the market share of PPG in the decorative paints market will rise from 15% to about 28%, compared to 36% held by market leader Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW). AkzoNobel will receive about $875 million on the deal which it would use to repay debt and finance growth priorities in other areas such as China, Latin America and the Middle East.

UBS (NYSE:UBS) secures the unlikely distinction of being the first bank in over a decade to enter a guilty plea to criminal charges. Its Japanese unit is expected to agree to criminal wrongdoing for reporting false LIBOR rates, after negotiations with British, US and Swiss authorities are concluded, says the New York Times. Fines and sanctions could cost UBS another $1 billion, the biggest imposed in the LIBOR scandal so far. Barclays Bank (NYSE:BCS) paid a fine of $450 million to settle accusations in the investigation.

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