Consumer borrowing exceeds estimates
Consumer borrowing rose more than forecast in February, reflecting the biggest gain in automobile, education and other nonrevolving loans in a year. The $16.5 billion advance in credit exceeded all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists and followed a revised $13.8 billion gain in the previous month, Federal Reserve figures showed Monday in Washington. The median forecast in the Bloomberg survey called for a $14 billion increase.
Indian pharmaceutical Sun to buy competitor
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, India’s largest drugmaker by market value, agreed to buy competitor Ranbaxy Laboratories for $3.2 billion in stock to bolster sales in faster-growing emerging markets. Ranbaxy investors will get 0.8 share in Sun for every one of their shares, or about 457 rupees, about 24 percent higher than the 60-day average, the two companies said Monday in a statement. Buying Ranbaxy would give Sun, founded by billionaire Dilip Shanghvi, control over the smaller competitor’s pipeline of generic products and help it expand in markets including Russia and Brazil. While four Ranbaxy plants have been banned by the Food and Drug Administration from exporting to the U.S., Sun Pharma may benefit if those problems are resolved, said Prakash Agarwal, an analyst at CIMB Securities India in Mumbai.
Two biggest cement firms seek merger
Investors offered cautious approval Monday for the merger plan of the world’s two biggest cement companies. But analysts seemed more skeptical about the wisdom of the deal, and whether the companies would be able to sell the merger to more than a dozen global antitrust regulators that will have a say in the matter. The companies, Lafarge, based in Paris, and Holcim, with headquarters in Jona, Switzerland, said Monday that by joining forces they would eventually generate annual savings of $1.9 billion and create “the most advanced group in the building materials industry.”
Land’s End shares tumble in debut
When Sears Holdings said late last year that it would spin off its Lands’ End division to shareholders, it described the move as a way to unlock value within the clothier. But so far, the newly public clothing company has lost a bit of value in its first day of trading. Shares in Lands’ End tumbled in their debut on Monday, falling to as low as $28.50. As of early afternoon, the company’s stock was down more than 6 percent, at $29.62.
Boeing to shutter California plant early
Boeing Co. announced plans to stop production of C-17 cargo jets at the company’s sprawling Long Beach, Calif., plant three months earlier than it previously anticipated. The aerospace giant said Monday it will shutter the 1.1-million-square-foot facility in mid-2015 because of “current market trends and the timing of expected orders.” The plane maker had initially said that production would come to an end in late 2015.