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After being blindsided by a failed $143 billion takeover bid from rival Kraft Heinz, Unilever CEO Paul Polman launched an overhaul of the company. Polman said he’ll reconsider Unilever’s Anglo-Dutch corporate structure, setting up a competition between London and Rotterdam. The choice could have political ramifications. Polman also said he’d make his company’s shares more valuable by buying back stock and cutting costs. Shareholders welcomed the news, but Bloomberg Gadfly was underwhelmed: The measures are “really the minimum Unilever could have unveiled,” wrote Andrea Felsted. — Andy Reinhardt
Another prosecutorial setback. Two former Barclays Libor traders were acquitted by a London jury of manipulating the key interest-rate benchmark. The verdicts add to a patchy conviction rate for the U.K. Serious Fraud Office in its five-year Libor investigation and again raise the question of the merits of prosecuting junior traders while senior executives remain untouched.
Loose change. You may want to check between your sofa cushions if you live in a country that gave up its currency for the euro. More than €15 billion worth of outdated European banknotes and coins have never been exchanged for euros, although about a third of that is now worthless currency. More than half of the hidden treasure is stashed away in German deutschmarks.
Burning cash. The rebound in oil prices was supposed to slow the depletion of Saudi Arabia’s foreign-currency reserves. But the central bank’s net foreign assets have fallen by an average of $6.5 billion a month over the past year. Economists can’t quite explain the rapid decline, but the government is still pushing ahead with its blueprint for the post-oil economy.
They won’t take “nyet” for an answer. President Trump’s fans in Moscow are fanning out across Washington, determined to salvage the rapprochement he promised despite a widening barrage of probes into the billionaire’s ties to Russia. The president’s Russian admirers are pursuing what they’re calling a “private” reconciliation.
A Ryanair transfer? Discounter Ryanair is starting to back away from its strictly point-to-point route structure to embrace hub airports that will let passengers transfer from one flight to another. The move brings Ryanair a step closer to conventional airline operations, after decades focused solely on beating rival network carriers with bargain basement fares.
Speed racer. Three Austrian brothers have reworked a limited-edition Porsche race car driven by actor Steve McQueen in the 1971 film “Le Mans” to run on electricity. The car has a range of 350 kilometers (217.5 miles) and accelerates from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in 2.5 seconds. Kreisel Electric plans to sell the EVEX 910e for €1.1 million.
Edited by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha
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