Business Highlights


Panama Papers database of offshore companies goes live

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — A group of investigative journalists on Monday published the names of thousands of offshore companies at the heart of a massive trove of data on the finances of the rich and powerful that has become known as the Panama Papers.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists made data on 200,000 entities available on its website at 1800 GMT (2 p.m. EDT) Monday.

They contain basic corporate information about companies, trusts and foundations set up in 21 jurisdictions including Hong Kong and the U.S. state of Nevada. The data was obtained from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which said it was hacked.


Small-car deals abound as US buyers go crazy for SUVs

DETROIT (AP) — With many Americans rushing to buy trucks and SUVs, there are good deals to be had on cars, especially smaller models.

In April, supplies of small cars on dealer lots grew to the highest level in seven years. Automakers are resorting to discounts and sweetened lease deals to move the metal — especially with models that haven’t been updated in a few years.

So far this year, about 54 per cent of U.S. vehicle sales have been trucks and SUVs. Just two years ago, cars ruled the market at 51 per cent.


Krispy Kreme shares soar on sweet takeover offer

NEW YORK (AP) — Krispy Kreme is being taken private by JAB Beech for about $1.35 billion.

It adds a doughnut chain to the investment firm’s coffee holdings. JAB Beech owns Keurig Green Mountain, Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Caribou Coffee. JAB Holdings, which is predominantly owned by the Reimann family in Europe, also has stakes in Jacobs Douwe Egberts, the company behind Gevalia, Tassio and other brands.

The companies said Krispy Kreme will continue to be independently operated from its headquarters in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


US creating pink commemorative coin to fund cancer research

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. officials are developing a new, pink commemorative coin to promote breast cancer awareness and raise money for cancer research, said U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who sponsored legislation for its creation.

The coin is expected to be released in 2018. It will be part of a set of three new coins aimed at promoting breast cancer awareness and help fund research to find a cure for the disease.

The Treasury Department will create 50,000 pink-gold $5 coins.


Treasury Secretary hopes to jump-start help for Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew travelled to Puerto Rico to get a first-hand look at the impact of the area’s $70 billion debt crisis.

The Obama administration hopes to jump-start congressional efforts to aid the U.S. territory, and Lew’s one-day trip focused attention on how the 3.5 million residents of the island are struggling with the worsening financial situation. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.

Lew said Puerto Rico’s problems are a human crisis as well as financial, such as infants and children unable to get medical care. Lew said he didn’t think there was a member of Congress who would find the conditions acceptable.


US stocks finish a little higher as health care jumps

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks finished just a bit higher Monday as gains for drug companies were almost cancelled by sharp losses for metals and energy companies.

Coming off two weeks of losses, stocks traded in a narrow range. Drug company stocks, which have been under pressure recently over concerns they’ll have trouble raising prices for medicines, moved sharply higher. The energy market was shaken up and the price of oil fell as Saudi Arabia replaced its oil minister. Metals companies tumbled on renewed worries about China’s economy.


Gap sales slide in April, retailer gives downbeat outlook

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gap shares tumbled in after-hours trading Monday after the struggling retailer reported worse-than-expected sales, issued a profit warning for the first quarter, and announced that it is mulling options for its business outside North America.

The San Francisco-based retailer said that sales in April at stores open at least a year — a key metric of a retailer’s health — fell 7 per cent. That fell short of analyst expectations for growth of 0.5 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.


LendingClub CEO resigns after internal probe of loan sale

NEW YORK (AP) — The chairman and CEO of the online lending company LendingClub stepped down after an internal review determined that the company’s business practices were violated with the sale of $22 million in loans to people with sketchy credit scores to a single investor.

The sudden departure of Renaud Laplanche, along with the firing or resignation of three senior managers involved in the sale, sent shares of the company plunging Monday.

It’s not immediately clear what role Laplanche played, but the company said that the transaction “failed to conform to the investor’s express instructions.”


Penney to expand major appliances to half of its stores

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney says it will start to sell major appliances online and expand its rollout of the category to nearly 500 stores, or almost half of its stores, this summer.

The move comes after a successful test of offering major appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators in 22 markets in February. Penney got out of the major appliance business more than 30 years ago.

Penney also said Monday that that it exceeded its own goal for one measure of profit. Its shares edged up in midday trading Monday.


Takata expects to sink into loss, instead of posting profit

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp. is expecting a loss for its fiscal year because of ballooning costs from a massive global air-bag recall.

Takata said Monday it is projecting an annual net loss of 13 billion yen ($120 million). The Japanese manufacturer had earlier forecast a profit of 5 billion yen ($46 million).

The company’s products are part of the largest recall in U.S. history. Inflators inside the air bags can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel they are responsible for at least 11 deaths worldwide and more than 100 injuries.


The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 34.72 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 17,705.91. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 1.55 points to 2,058.69. The Nasdaq composite index rose 14.05 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 4,750.21.

U.S. crude fell $1.22, or 2.7 per cent, to $43.44 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, fell $1.74, or 3.8 per cent, to $43.63 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 5 cents to $1.443 a gallon, heating oil fell 5 cents to $1.286 a gallon and natural gas was little changed at $2.098 per thousand cubic feet.