Home United States USA — Japan Business News Roundup, Jan. 10

Business News Roundup, Jan. 10


NewsHubYahoo said Monday that after it sells its Internet properties to Verizon, the holding company that remains will be called Altaba Inc. That firm will manage the company’s investments in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. Altaba’s board will be reduced to five directors: Tor Braham, a former managing director at Deutsche Bank Securities ; Eric Brandt , a former Broadcom Corp. CFO ; Catherine Friedman , a former managing director of Morgan Stanley ; Thomas McInerney , former CFO of IAC; and Jeffrey Smith , chief investment officer of activist investor group Starboard Value. Brandt, who became the chairman of Yahoo’s board on Monday, will continue to hold that role at Altaba.
There are six directors that plan to resign after the Verizon deal closes, including Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and co-founder David Filo. Yahoo declined to comment.
It’s unclear if the Verizon deal will go through.
Previously, Yahoo had planned to spin off its Asian investments in a new company called Aabaco. That plan was scrapped after the Internal Revenue Service indicated the deal wouldn’t receive favorable tax treatment. Yahoo’s small-business unit still carries the Aabaco name.
The Obama administration cut mortgage-insurance premiums charged under a government program that’s popular with first-time home buyers with little money for a down payment, a move that may ease the burden of rising interest rates.
The annual fees the Federal Housing Administration charges to guarantee mortgages it backs are being cut by a quarter of a percentage point, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said on Monday. With the reduction, the annual cost for most borrowers will be 0.60 percent of the loan balance.
The change — which could be reversed after President-elect Donald Trump takes office — will force the Trump administration to weigh Republican objections over lower fees against the benefits to home buyers.
The reduction, which lowers the cost of a home for those who use the FHA, is charged to mortgage borrowers. HUD on Monday said the fee cut would save new FHA-insured homeowners an average of $500 this year. The cut would take effect on Jan. 27.
Consumers increased their borrowing in November at the fastest pace in three months.
The Federal Reserve says total borrowing in November climbed $24.5 billion, compared to a smaller $16.2 billion in October. The increase pushed total debt to a fresh record of $3.75 trillion.
The acceleration reflected a big jump in the category that covers credit card debt, which rose $11 billion, compared with a much smaller $2.4 billion increase in October.
It was the largest monthly advance since March and was a good sign at the start of the holiday shopping season.
Growth in the category that covers auto loans and student loans slowed a bit in November, showing a rise of $13.5 billion after a $13.8 billion increase in October.
Alphabet Inc. is in talks to sell the Skybox Imaging satellite business it acquired for $500 million less than three years ago, another sign the technology giant is ratcheting back grand ambitions to blanket the globe with Internet service.
Planet Labs , a San Francisco satellite imaging startup, may acquire Skybox, according to people familiar with the situation. Some employees from the Alphabet division , renamed Terra Bella last year, are moving to Planet Labs as part of the deal, while others may get different positions at Google, according to these people. They asked not to be identified because the transaction is private.
A representative from Planet Labs, now known as Planet, declined to comment. A spokeswoman from Alphabet’s Google unit declined to comment.
The move signals an ambitious agenda for the startup, which has raised more than $150 million. In contrast, Google parent Alphabet has been curbing its Internet-access plans. In October, the company cut about 9 percent of staff from its Fiber fast Internet service.
The Chevy Bolt has been named top car in North America, an important milestone for a car General Motors hopes will finally get Americans hooked on electric vehicles. The honors were announced Monday morning at Detroit’s Cobo Center as the North American International Auto Show’s press preview days kicked into high gear.
The Bolt beat out the Genesis G90 and Volvo S90 for the car award. The electric car from Chevrolet went on sale late last year. It gets more than 200 miles per battery charge, which is more than the average American drives in a day. The Bolt also sells for around $30,000 when a federal tax credit is included. Electric vehicles have failed to catch on with most American consumers, but General Motors hopes the improved range and price help shift opinions.
Chronicle News Services

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