Google Maps’ new personalized suggestions come to iOS

A more personalized version of Google Maps is now arriving on iOS. At Google’s I/O developer conference earlier this year, the company introduced a series of new features designed to help Google Maps users learn what’s happening around them, track area businesses to receive updates about their events and promotions, and receive personalized suggestions of places to visit, dine, and more. The latter now appear in a “For You” tab in the revamped Google Maps app, which first arrived on Android this June.

Today, the feature is rolling out more broadly.

According to Google, the “For You” tab is now making its way to over 130  more countries on Android and is launching on iOS across 40+ countries.

When switching over to this tab, you’ll see any number of suggestions – from newly opened places to visit or restaurants to try to new pop-ups – to new menu items at favorite restaurants and restaurant suggestions Google thinks you’d like to try. It bases these on your personal tastes and preferences it’s inferred from your use of the Google Maps app, including what sort of businesses you search and follow.

The “For You” tab can also help you with travel planning, by making suggestions of places before you depart, Google notes.

To get better recommendations, you’ll want to follow local businesses you like in Google Maps, or even neighborhoods you frequent, to personalize your suggestions further.

The feature is part of a larger overhaul of Google Maps that’s aiming to challenge Facebook as the place where businesses offer updates of their goings-on, news about their sales, events, and other information they want to share with customers – as well as target potential new customers through ads and being featured in users’ recommendations.

In October, Google Maps launched the “Follow” button for tracking businesses, and last month rolled out a new “Google My Business” app for business owners, so they could more easily create and publish content to their business profile on Google.

With these products in place – content publication tools and the ability for users to follow that content – Google is now ready to turn those signals into personalized suggestions. You’ll find it at the bottom of the Google Maps app, where it will show you potential “matches” (and the percentage for the match), plus news about recent openings, trending spots, and other suggestions.

The company says the “For You” tab is rolling out starting today across the new markets and on iOS.

Exclusive: Ghosn wanted to retrieve cash, artwork from Rio apt: court filing

FILE PHOTO – Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, attends a news conference to unveil Renault’s next mid-term strategic plan in Paris, France, October 6, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

SAO PAULO/TOKYO (Reuters) – Ousted Nissan (7201.T) Chairman Carlos Ghosn sought to retrieve “personal belongings, documents, cash, objects and art pieces” from a Rio de Janeiro apartment that may contain evidence of his alleged financial misconduct, according to a Brazil court filing by Nissan last week.

The apartment, which the carmaker says it owns, contains “three safes” that Nissan has yet to open, according to the filing, adding it also has “designer furniture, artwork and decorative objects,” according to the filing.

A lawyer for Ghosn, Jose Roberto de Castro Neves, told Reuters he was unaware of the existence of three different safes.

“He’s a very smart guy,” de Castro Neves said in a brief phone interview. “If he had done something wrong, he would never leave it in the apartment.”

Tokyo prosecutors on Monday indicted Ghosn for under-reporting his income and also officially charged the automaker, making the firm culpable for the financial misconduct scandal that has shocked the industry. Ghosen is being held in a Tokyo jail.

Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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Qualcomm wins preliminary China import ruling against some iPhone models

(Reuters) – Chip supplier Qualcomm Inc on Monday said it had won a preliminary order from a Chinese court banning the importation and sale of several Apple Inc iPhone models in china due to patent violations.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Qualcomm is seen during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

The preliminary order affects the iPhone 6S through the iPhone X sold with older versions of Apple’s iOS operating system. Qualcomm, the biggest supplier of chips for mobile phones, initially filed its case in China in late 2017.

In a statement, Apple said its iPhones remain on sale in the country, with newer software.

The ruling came from the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China, the same court that earlier this year banned the import of some of memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc’s chips into China.

The court found Apple violated two of Qualcomm’s software patents around resizing photographs and managing applications on a touch screen.

“Apple continues to benefit from our intellectual property while refusing to compensate us,” Don Rosenberg, general counsel of Qualcomm, said in a statement.

Apple shares fell 2 percent in premarket trading.

Because the patents concern software, Apple could make changes to its software to avoid the patents and still be able to sell its phones.

In a statement, Apple said that all iPhone models remain available for its customers in China. New iPhones use Apple’s latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 12.

“Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world,” Apple said in its statement.

The patents in the suit, which Qualcomm said on Monday had been upheld by the Chinese patent office, are separate from those being contested in other cases in its wide-ranging legal dispute with Apple. Qualcomm has also asked regulators in the United States to ban the importation of several iPhone models over patent concerns, but U.S. officials have so far declined to do so.

The specific iPhone models affected by the preliminary ruling in China are the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Susan Thomas

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Nutella maker Ferrero in race to buy Campbell’s international business: sources

Tins of Campbell’s Tomato Soup are seen on a supermarket shelf in Seattle, Washington, U.S. February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

MILAN (Reuters) – Ferrero SpA is interested in buying Campbell Soup Co’s (CPB.N) international business, which includes biscuit brand Arnott’s, two sources close to the matter said on Monday.

The Italian group based in the Piedmont region is working on a possible deal with Rothschild as advisers, one of the sources said, confirming an earlier report by Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore. According to the newspaper, the deal could be worth more than $2 billion.

Campbell started the process of selling its international and fresh refrigerated-foods units in August following a strategic review, joining the likes of other packaged food makers such as Kraft Heinz Co (KHC.O) and Kellogg Co (K.N) who have also been offloading some brands.

Campbell recently settled a months-long proxy battle with billionaire Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point LLC, which had pressured the company to sell itself.

The company said last month, the units which were put up for sale have attracted strong interest from potential buyers.

Campbell’s international biscuits and snacks operating segment also include Kelsen Group, along with the company’s manufacturing operations in Indonesia, Malaysia and its businesses in Hong Kong and Japan.

Ferrero, which also makes Kinder brand chocolates and Tic Tac, declined to comment, while a Campbell spokesman said the company does not comment on rumors and speculation.

Reporting by Francesca Landini in Milan and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Shounak Dasgupta

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Crossrail delay: £1.4bn bailout as autumn 2019 launch delayed

Elizabeth lineImage copyright Transport for London
Image caption Crossrail – to be known as the Elizabeth Line – had an original budget set at £15.9bn in 2007, which was then cut to £14.8bn in 2010

A £1.4bn bailout has been announced for Crossrail, as Europe’s biggest infrastructure project is pushed back beyond its launch date of autumn 2019.

London’s £15bn route, to be known as the Elizabeth line, had originally been due to open this month.

The rescue plan – the third this year – will be used to plug a predicted £2bn hole in the project’s finances.

The scheme will connect major landmarks such as Heathrow Airport and the Canary Wharf business district.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the deal means “Crossrail’s new leadership can get the job done”.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Crossrail received a £590m cash injection in July, followed by an “interim” £350m loan announced in October

Transport for London (TfL) estimates it will miss out on at least £20m in revenue due to the delay.

Between £1.6bn and £2bn is needed to complete the project, a review by accountancy firm KPMG indicate found.

The scheme is currently running almost £600m over budget, and the previous bailouts have not come without criticism.

The project received a £590m cash injection in July, followed by an “interim” £350m loan announced in October.

It was announced in August that the route was to open nine months after the original scheduled launch of December 2018 to allow more time for testing.

TfL announced on Monday that the launch had once again been pushed back, and a new “robust and deliverable schedule” would be announced later.

When open, the project will help ease London’s chronic congestion.

Trains will run from Reading and Heathrow in the west through 13 miles of new tunnels to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, when fully operational.

Crossrail says the new line will connect Paddington to Canary Wharf in 17 minutes and described the 10-year project as “hugely complex”.

An estimated 200m passengers will use the new underground line annually, increasing central London rail capacity by 10% – the largest increase since World War Two.

Under the new deal the Greater London Authority (GLA) will borrow up to £1.3bn from the Department for Transport, and provide an extra £100m itself.

The GLA will repay this loan from increased business rates.

UPDATE 1-Nutella maker Ferrero in race to buy Campbell’s international business-sources

Tins of Campbell’s Tomato Soup are seen on a supermarket shelf in Seattle, Washington, U.S. February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

MILAN (Reuters) – Ferrero SpA is interested in buying Campbell Soup Co’s (CPB.N) international business, which includes biscuit brand Arnott’s, two sources close to the matter said on Monday.

The Italian group based in the Piedmont region is working on a possible deal with Rothschild as advisers, one of the sources said, confirming an earlier report by Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore. According to the newspaper, the deal could be worth more than $2 billion.

Campbell started the process of selling its international and fresh refrigerated-foods units in August following a strategic review, joining the likes of other packaged food makers such as Kraft Heinz Co (KHC.O) and Kellogg Co (K.N) who have also been offloading some brands.

Campbell recently settled a months-long proxy battle with billionaire Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point LLC, which had pressured the company to sell itself.

The company said last month, the units which were put up for sale have attracted strong interest from potential buyers.

Campbell’s international biscuits and snacks operating segment also include Kelsen Group, along with the company’s manufacturing operations in Indonesia, Malaysia and its businesses in Hong Kong and Japan.

Ferrero, which also makes Kinder brand chocolates and Tic Tac, declined to comment, while a Campbell spokesman said the company does not comment on rumors and speculation.

Reporting by Francesca Landini in Milan and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Shounak Dasgupta

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX dips at open as energy stocks drag

(Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index opened lower on Monday, as a fall in crude oil prices weighed on shares of energy companies.

* At 9:30 a.m. ET (14:30 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 18.79 points, or 0.13 percent, at 14,776.34.

Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru

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UPDATE 1-Yelp’s big shareholder calls for board overhaul

(Reuters) – Hedge fund SQN Investors LP, one of Yelp Inc’s (YELP.N) top five shareholders, on Monday called for an overhaul of the local search and customer review company’s board and the appointment of new independent directors, blaming it for underperformance.

SQN, which owns more than 4 percent stake in Yelp, said in a letter to the board that it has failed to hold itself and the management accountable for the company’s “repeated strategic and operational missteps.”

Last month, Yelp missed third-quarter revenue estimates and cut 2018 revenue forecast, hurt by lower-than-expected advertising sales. Shares of the San Francisco-based company have fallen about 18 percent this year.

“We are deeply concerned by the board’s lack of urgency in addressing many of the issues facing Yelp,” the hedge fund said, adding that a “refreshed” board will help determine if Yelp should consider selling itself.

In the past several quarters, Yelp has struggled to grow, with revenue expansion going below 2 percent. The hedge fund said the company’s slow pace of innovation has helped the big names such as Google and Facebook Inc (FB.O) to narrow the gap by collecting significant reviews.

In a response to SQN’s letter, Yelp said it is looking forward to a dialogue with the hedge fund.

Yelp’s website helps users rate and review local businesses and also book online reservations for events and restaurants.

Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru; Editing by Derek Francis and Arun Koyyur

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GE names Paula Reynolds to board

(Reuters) – General Electric Co (GE.N) on Monday elected Paula Rosput Reynolds to its board of directors, replacing John Brennan who had earlier announced his intention to retire.

Reynolds, 62, is the chief executive of PreferWest LLC, a privately held business advisory firm, and currently serves as a director for Britain’s biggest defense company BAE Systems (BAES.L).

Reynolds’ appointment is effective as of Dec. 7.

GE has vowed to restructure its power unit as its new Chief Executive Larry Culp takes steps to revive the struggling conglomerate.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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UPDATE 1-Banco BPM close to bad loan deal with Credito Fondiario/Elliott – sources

MILAN (Reuters) – Banco BPM (BAMI.MI) is close to selling up to 7.8 billion euros in bad loans along with a stake in the Italian bank’s debt recovery business to Credito Fondiario and U.S fund Elliott, three sources familiar with the matter said.

The sale would allow Banco BPM to reduce its problem loan ratio to as low as 10.6 percent of total lending from 16 percent at the end of September, putting to rest concerns the bank may need to raise capital to clean up its balance sheet.

The board of Italy’s third-largest bank will meet later on Monday to pick the winner of the race in which Credito Fondiario and Elliott were up against Italy’s top bad loan specialist doBank (DOB.MI), backed by U.S. private equity firm Fortress, and a third group comprising U.S. funds TPG, Christofferson, Robb & Company and Davidson Kempner.

All the parties involved declined to comment.

Banco BPM earlier this month struck a consumer credit agreement with Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) which helped to boost the Italian bank’s capital, paving the way for this latest bad loan deal. [nL8N1Y607C]

Problem loans are normally sold at a loss, which depletes a bank’s capital reserves. A source involved the bidding process told Reuters last month Banco BPM’s bad loans were being valued at a fifth of their gross book value.

Banco BPM’s latest efforts to clean up its balance sheet had run into difficulties due to a sharp rise in state borrowing costs under the country’s eurosceptic government, which has made foreign investors nervous and hit the value of banks’ sovereign bond holdings.

Like other Italian banks, Banco BPM had seen its core capital eroded by the falling value of its domestic government bond holdings in the three months through June.

This has added to pressure on Banco BPM’s shares, which trade at an almost 70 percent discount to its assets.

However, the bank managed to bolster its capital levels in the third quarter with an asset sale and accounting changes.[nFWN1XI11M]

It gained a further capital benefit by selling part of its ProFamily consumer financing business to the Agos consumer credit joint-venture it has in place with Credit Agricole for 310 million euros ($352.66 million).

Created last year from the merger of Banca Popolare di Milano and Banco Popolare, Banco BPM has already offloaded 11.5 billion euros in bad loans since the end of 2016.

($1 = 0.8790 euros)

Reporting by Massimo Gaia, Cristina Carlevaro and Valentina Za, editing by Jane Merriman

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