Sharp: An investment by Foxconn
News from BusinessWeek:

Sharp: An investment by Foxconn

Taiwan’s Hon Hai Group (HNHPF), which owns the Foxconn assembly plants that produce iPads and iPhones, is investing $ 1.6 billion in Japan’s Sharp (6753), a major manufacturer of thin-film transistor liquid-crystal displays. In February, Sharp announced it expects to lose $ 3.49 billion this fiscal year, partly because an investment in a plant to produce LCDs larger than 55 inches has yet to pay off, as consumers favor smaller sets. Daiwa Securities Capital Markets says the deal—which gives Hon Hai 46.5 percent of the Sharp unit that owns the LCD fab—is more evidence that Apple (AAPL) may be working on an iTV. This is Hon Hai’s third investment in display makers in three years.

Banks: New bank charters hit a low

Last year just two banks opened in the U.S., down from 155 in 2007. That record low marked the…………… continues on BusinessWeek

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Russian whistleblower accuses Putin’s investment czar of multimillion dollar …
News from Washington Post:

MOSCOW — Russia’s leading corruption whistleblower on Friday accused Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s close ally Igor Shuvalov of graft.

Alexei Navalny posted on his blog the scans of documents that show tens of millions of U.S. dollars transferred to the account of Shuvalov’s company from companies that Navalny alleges are owned by billionaires Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov.

Navalny’s disclosure follows articles in the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that mentioned the same murky deals.

Since 2008, Shuvalov, a deputy prime minister, has overseen investment, economics and finance in Putin’s government. Shuvalov said his family’s income was 1.4 billion rubles ($ 48 million) between 2008 and 2001, most of which came from his wife. They also declared ownership of upmarket properties in Russia and overseas.

Shuvalov insisted that he accumulated wealth before he became a public servant in 1997, and that he paid all the necessary taxes. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The Shuvalovs made hefty returns on investments in shares of the gas monopolist Gazprom by buying them before a market liberalization law was enacted to boost the shares’ value. Shuvalov’s allies deny the deputy prime minister had any insider knowledge.

In a rare public statement Alexander Voloshin, former presidential chief…………… continues on Washington Post

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