Snippets of interesting news from around the world. This week in review: travel site woes, pricey acquisitions and a holy iPad.
Say goodbye to AsiaRooms.com. The travel site has ceased operations permanently after bleeding money for the past seven years. On 25 February, all 23 staff in the Singapore office were informed of the closure and told to pack up on the same day. Visitors to the online site will now be redirected to LateRooms.com, which is under the same parent company TUI Group.
Power woman goes on three months’ leave. Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek Holdings, joked with her team that she’s “testing out what a sabbatical means”. Perhaps she needs to recharge from the past two busy months, during which her husband was hospitalised and her father-in-law passed away. In her absence, her normal duties will be covered by Lee Theng Kiat, one of the three presidents at Temasek.
LinkedIn broke the bank for Lynda.com. LinkedIn has acquired Lynda.com, a popular online learning resource for subjects like Photoshop, basic HTML, CSS and more. Pending shareholder approval, the acquisition – valued at US$1.5 billion in total, combining 52% cash payout and 48% stock – will allow LinkedIn to make Lynda.com’s 6,300 online skill-building courses and 267,000 video tutorials available to its wide network of professionals.
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Who says art and craft doesn’t pay? Etsy is now worth over US$3 billion, after its share price jumped 88% after IPO. The cult marketplace for artisanal goods priced its IPO at US$16 a share initially, before its stock hit the NASDAQ stock exchange. By mid-morning on its first day as a public company, Etsy shares were trading at US$35 a share, making the company worth nearly US$4 billion.
HSBC still in hot soup for abetting tax evasion. The British banking giant is facing criminal investigations in France over allegations that its Swiss private banking arm aided wealthy clients in avoiding taxes in 2006 and 2007. The total sum hidden? A whooping €180.6 billion. It is also being investigated in seven other countries including Brazil, Denmark, India and Switzerland.
7 years in jail for fraudsters behind ‘Enron of India’. Also, a 50 million rupees fine. Six years ago, Ramalinga Raju resigned as chairman of Satyam Computer Services and wrote a letter to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), shareholders and employees admitting that $1 billion –or 94% of the cash – on the company’s books did not actually exist. Dating back to 2009, the case is one of the biggest corporate fraud cases in the history of India and cost investors well over $2 billion.
The richer you are, the better you sleep. According to this 2013 study conducted in the United States, the relationship between income and sleep is linear and positive. One possible reason why the lower-income aren’t sleeping as much? Many of them hold multiple jobs to make ends meet.
Other iPads depreciate in value, but not his. Pope Francis’ old iPad has been sold for US$30,500 at an auction, with the proceeds going to a school in Uruguay. The iPad, which is inscribed with the message “His Holiness Francisco. Servizio Internet Vatican, March 2013”, was donated by the Pope with his best wishes, “May you do something good with it”. On the other hand, here’s how much your old iPad is worth now.