By Shinichi Saoshiro TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks were on a weak footing on Wednesday as a slip in crude oil prices dampened investors' appetite for riskier assets, while the recently bullish dollar stalled against the euro and yen following a mixed bag of U.S. economic data. Japan's Nikkei lost more than one percent as the yen firmed. Shanghai see-sawed in and out of negative terrain, and was last up 0.1 percent, after rallying on Tuesday on expectations MSCI could add China's mainland stocks to its emerging market benchmark for the first time.
Shari Redstone, vice chair of Viacom Inc and the daughter of controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone, said on Tuesday she has no desire to manage the media conglomerate or to chair its board. The statement from Shari Redstone was a response to a letter on Monday in which Viacom's six independent directors vowed to fight any attempt to oust them from the board. In a statement from her spokeswoman, Shari Redstone said she wants "strong, independent directors" for Viacom, the owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures.
By Tom Hals WILMINGTON, Del (Reuters) - Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners underpriced their 2013 $24.9 billion buyout of Dell Inc by about 22 percent and may have to pay tens of millions to investors who opposed the deal for the computer maker, a Delaware judge ruled on Tuesday. The ruling, which applies to about 5.5 million Dell shares, is a victory for the specialized hedge funds that have increasingly tried to squeeze more money from mergers using a type of lawsuit known as appraisal. The lawsuits allow investors who oppose a deal, such as the bitterly contested Dell buyout, to sue and ask a Delaware judge to determine a fair deal price.
By Henning Gloystein SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices fell over 1 percent on Wednesday as production from major Middle East exporters was expected to remain high or even increase just as concerns over the state of China's economy weighed on its fuel demand outlook. Brent crude futures were trading at $49.29 per barrel at 0649 GMT, down 60 cents, or 1.2 percent, from their last settlement. U.S. crude futures were down 51 cents, or 1.04 percent, at $48.59 a barrel.
The transaction marks the first sale of shares in the Chinese e-commerce giant by its largest shareholder since SoftBank began investing in the company in 2000, and will reduce its stake to around 28 percent from 32.2 percent. Investors have been worried about finances at the Japanese internet and telecoms company since its 2013 acquisition of a majority stake in No. 4 U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Corp which has been burning cash amid fierce competition for subscribers. Hideaki Tanaka, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley, said the move would be positive for SoftBank's shares.
The owners of the New York Mets baseball team have reached a revised agreement with the trustee seeking to recoup money for the victims of Bernard Madoff's fraud that gives them more time to pay up to $61 million, the parties announced on Tuesday. The deal came four years after a group including brothers-in-law Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, the owners of the Mets, reached a settlement to pay a maximum of $162 million as a trial in federal court in Manhattan was set to start in a lawsuit by trustee Irving Picard. The lawsuit had accused the group of turning a blind eye to the fraud by Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme was uncovered in December 2008, a claim they denied.
Activity in China's manufacturing sector unexpectedly expanded for the third straight month in May but growth remained weak as orders softened, suggesting the world's second-largest economy is still struggling to regain traction. Beijing has been counting on a strong services sector to help offset the prolonged downdraft from manufacturing, and hopes that services will create jobs for some of the millions of factory workers who are expected to lose their jobs as the government tries to cut industrial overcapacity.
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