National / International News

Paris Ends 'Odd Or Even' Limit On Cars After One Day

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-17 07:17

'Impair Ou Pair?' To combat smog, officials restricted car use Monday. For the most part, only cars with odd-numbered license plates could be on the streets. The rule will end after today.

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VIDEO: John's story of being trafficked

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 07:05
A victim of trafficking, who came to Scotland from Uganda, speaks to the BBC about his ordeal.

Police officer dies in house fire

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 06:56
Staffordshire Police says one of its officers, PC David Beech, died in a fire at his home on Sunday.

Westboro Baptist Will Find Justification To Continue, Pastor's Son Says

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-17 06:52

The church's controversial founder, Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., is "on the edge of death," his son says. The pastor's death, he adds, would bring a crisis to his followers, who see death as God's judgment.

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Build HS2 more quickly, says boss

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 06:51
HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins calls on the government to "accelerate" the northern section of the £50bn high-speed rail project.

Spectacular cosmic discovery hailed

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 06:46
Scientists say they have found a signal left in the sky by the super-rapid expansion of space that occurred fractions of a second after the Big Bang.

Pistorius 'knew about gun laws'

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 06:44
The Oscar Pistorius trial hears from a firearm specialist who says the athlete has good knowledge of the rules on gun use and dealing with intruders.

Deal in US general's sex crimes case

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 06:37
A US Army general accused of sex crimes pleads guilty to lesser counts, as prosecutors drop the most serious charges against him.

Big Brother in breach of Ofcom rules

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 06:18
Channel 5 is found in breach of Ofcom rules over an incident which resulted in a housemate being removed from the house.

Sneezing into a trombone

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 06:07
A viral video shows a man sneezing into his trombone during a performance. What do you do when you need to sneeze in awkward places, asks Tom Heyden.

In Illinois, A Governor's Luck Gets Tested Again

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-17 06:06

With the Illinois economy and state finances in bad shape, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has a rough re-election ahead of him. But he's been counted out before and his likely GOP foe has flaws of his own.

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Ancient animal horn found on beach

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 05:46
An animal horn thought to be 3,000 years old is found on a beach in Gwynedd after the recent storms.

Nigerians debate nation's future

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 05:45
Some 500 delegates gather in Nigeria's capital to discuss the country's future, 100 years after the Muslim north and Christian south were united.

VIDEO: Shapps: Recovery helping all UK regions

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 05:45
An economic recovery is helping "all regions of the UK" with more jobs than ever, says Tory chairman Grant Shapps.

BBC apology over North Korea breach

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 05:44
The BBC apologises after failing to ensure students were aware of the risks involved in taking part in a Panorama programme on North Korea.

Venezuela forces clear rally square

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 05:41
Security forces in Venezuela drive protesters from a square in Caracas which has been the focus of anti-government demonstrations.

Cardiff Airport passengers up 9%

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 05:40
The number of passengers flying from Cardiff Airport is up 9% since it was taken over by the Welsh government last year.

Clifford 'pinned woman against wall'

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-17 05:26
Max Clifford pinned a receptionist against the wall and tried to grope her, a court hears.

Top Stories: Sanctions Follow Crimea Vote; SEALs Board Hijacked Tanker

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-17 05:13

Also: Army general agrees to plea deal in sexual assault case; winter storm wallops the mid-Atlantic; mayors and Guinness pull out of St. Patrick's Day parades because of bans on gay marchers.

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Where to sell Alibaba's treasure?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-03-17 05:06

In the folk tale, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Ali Baba found a pile of treasure. 

In the stock market, Alibaba is the pile of treasure.  Alibaba Group -- the company -- is like a Chinese Amazon, connecting buyers and sellers and exporters and importers.  It's valued at upwards of $150 billion.  And every stock exchange in the world would love to host it. 

In a post on its company blog, Alibaba says it will choose an exchange in New York.  Which means it may be ditching its home stock exchange in Hong Kong. But what is a company looking for when it decides where to list? 

Power

Some stock exchanges let you have it. Some don't.

"Hong Kong was rejected for New York, because leadership at Alibaba wants to have control over voting shares," explains Max Wolff, chief economist with Citizen.VC, a venture capital advisory firm.  

When you sell shares of your company, you're selling control over your company. Every share can equal one vote. Votes on things like whether to fire you. Or whether to hire a board you don't like. This is reassuring to some investors, but sometimes terrifying for management. So some companies like to weight the vote from the get-go.

"You can attach ten times the voting weight to some shares versus others," explains Wolff, and then you save all of those special shares for yourself, giving you "super voting rights."

That way, you could own only 5.1 percent of your shares, make a ton of money by selling the rest, and still have 51 percent of the voting rights.

One small problem: In Hong Kong, you're not allowed to do that. Those are the rules. It's viewed as more equitable.

But in New York, you can do that. So for Alibaba, which has a very centralized management team headed by Jack Ma, known for his "large personality," the decision to go public in New York was a no-brainer. 

But there's more to it than just power. 

Home field advantage

If you list at home, more people know you. Investors will be more comfortable with you and view you as less of a risk.

"It's akin to a sports team playing at home," says Scott Kessler, internet equity analyst with S&P Capital IQ. 

Marketing

On the other hand, listing abroad – especially in New York – can be seen as prestigious.

Pai Ling Yin is at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. She says where companies choose to list can send a message that, "We are good enough in our practices that we can withstand the scrutiny of being on a more developed and more rigorous exchange with higher standards."

Scott Kessler says many Chinese companies in particular have been going direct to the U.S. stock markets in recent years.

A big fish needs a big pond

It is possible, of course, to list on multiple exchanges simultaneously.  But it's not advisable for a new company, says Yin, because "early on people aren't sure of your true value, so splitting  your listing across markets adds a dimension of uncertainty."

If there's excess supply or demand on one exchange but not the other, it can make the stock price volatile as investors try to compare the two. 

"You want all the people who could buy your stock to be there" together, says Yin. 

Fundamentally though, "the U.S. is still the place to be when it comes to technology companies and internet companies," says Kessler. 

And with a valuation of upwards of $150 billion, rivaling Facebook’s valuation, it helps Alibaba to be where investors are the savviest, the most numerous, and wealthy.

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