Noteworthy expenditures of the week
The Duke-Semans mansion on New York's Fifth Avenue has sold for $44 million, and the buyer is Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, according to The Wall Street Journal. Built in 1901 by the ancestors of tobacco heiress Doris Duke, the Beaux Arts townhouse has 12 bedrooms, 14 baths, and 3 elevators.
Amount Spain's Telefónica is paying to buy Portugal Telecom's (PT) stake in Vivo Participacoes (VIV), Brazil's No. 1 wireless carrier. The deal brings an end to a protracted tug-of-war for control of Vivo. Separately, Portugal Telecom offered $4.8 billion for a 22 percent stake in Telemar Norte Leste, Brazil's largest landline operator.
General Motors said its Chevrolet Volt electric car will have a starting price of $41,000, with lease terms of $350 a month with a $2,500 down payment. The Volt is priced at a premium over Nissan's all-electric Leaf, which is scheduled to go on sale in November for $32,780. GM says the higher price is justified by the Volt's longer driving range.
Amount Russia's Lukoil is paying to buy back 7.6 percent of its stock from ConocoPhillips (COP). The No. 3 U.S. oil producer says it plans to sell its remaining 12.4 percent interest by the end of the year as part of a $10 billion divestiture program.
Amount that General Electric (GE) agreed to pay to settle SEC charges that the company spent $3.6 million on kickbacks to win contracts in Iraq during the waning days of Saddam Hussein's rule. Three former GE employees were indicted in a separate Justice Dept. probe into bid rigging on U.S. municipal contracts.
Alberto Contador took home $64,600 in Tour de France winnings after splitting the $580,000 prize with his eight teammates. That seems paltry next to the $1.5 million compatriot Rafael Nadal got for winning at Wimbledon this year.
Sovereign Wealth Funds
Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah Nasional, prevailed in a bidding war for control of Singapore's Parkway Holdings, Asia's biggest hospital operator. Khazanah's $2.6 billion offer topped one by India's Fortis Healthcare. The deal will allow Khazanah to capitalize on rising health-care spending in the region.
Hedge fund Tiger Global Management paid $20 million for a 1 percent stake in LinkedIn, giving the professional networking website a theoretical value of more than $2 billion. Tiger's investment follows its December purchase of shares in Zynga Game Network, another Internet company that, like LinkedIn, is a candidate for an initial public offering.
Seven U.S. banks with deposits totaling about $2 billion were seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. over the weekend of July 24-25. FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair has said she expects the number of bank failures this year to surpass 2009's total of 140. The casualty count so far in 2010 is 103.