Inteliquent announces special USD1.25 dividend

Neutral Tandem, Inc. d/b/a Inteliquent (NASDAQ: IQNT) said it has declared a special dividend of USD1.25 per share.

The special dividend will be paid on June 28, 2013, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 14, 2013.

The company also declared its initial regular quarterly dividend of USD0.0625 per share. The regular quarterly dividend will be paid on June 24, 2013, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 10, 2013.

Headquartered in Chicago, Inteliquent is a provider of wholesale voice services for carriers and service providers. Inteliquent is used by nearly all national and regional wireless carriers, cable companies and CLECs in the markets it serves, and its network carries approximately tenbn minutes of traffic per month. Visit Inteliquent´s website at www.inteliquent.com and follow on Twitter@Inteliquent.

Arup teams with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill on JFK Terminal 4 expansion

Ajoint venture between US engineering and consulting firm Arup and US architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP said it has marked the completion of its work expanding Terminal 4 for Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

The new USD 1.2bn terminal complex consolidates Delta´s operations at JFK, allowing the airline to move out of aging facilities in Terminal 3 and improve the passenger experience for the estimated 11m Delta passengers who will pass through every year.

This JV, called ArupSOM, was the designer of the original Terminal 4 building, which opened in 2001. This latest project includes the expansion of Terminal 4´s Concourse B and the addition of new security facilities.

The redevelopment also features expanded shopping areas, the new 24,000-square-foot Delta Sky Club, and new domestic baggage claim facilities to speed the transfer of passengers from international to domestic flights.

SOM, which has a long history of work at JFK starting with the 1958 completion of the International Arrivals Building, was the lead planner and architect of the project, while Arup acted as the building and civil engineer.

According to the firm, this newest expansion continues to fulfill the original master plan for the terminal by strengthening support of operations within the context of the terminal´s central column-free space, with its plentiful views and natural light.

The airside expansion, a nine-gate extension in Concourse B, provides necessary additional facilities for Delta´s fleet and helps realize Delta´s goal to build an international hub at JFK. Dual taxiways also help reduce aircraft taxi times and provide more efficient service.

At landside, a new security area in the main departure hall reorganized the sequence of travel, allowing passengers to take advantage of the retail hall after clearance. A new domestic baggage claim hall, part of the original master plan, has been added, as well as larger areas for Customs and Border Protection.

This expansion project replaces the 50-year-old Terminal 3, increases the size of the original Terminal 4 by nearly one third to 1.94m square feet, and gives Delta the ability to accommodate all of their international flights from Terminal 4.

Find out more at www.arup.com.

Diebold overhauls terminals to deliver enhanced experiences for members

Diebold, Inc. (NYSE: DBD) said it is upgrading one of the largest credit union-operated automated teller machine fleets in the United States.

Diebold will update and replace more than 1,100 ATMs for Raleigh, N.C.-based State Employees´ Credit Union. Upon completion of the fleet refresh, SECU´s ATMs will all be Diebold Opteva terminals, more than 65 percent of which will feature Diebold´s leading deposit automation technology.

The second-largest credit union in the nation, SECU has been providing consumer financial services to North Carolinians for 75 years. SECU serves 1.8m members via 248 branch offices, 1,120 ATMs, 24/7 call centers, and online and mobile banking platforms.

A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has been providing employees of the state of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for 75 years. With 1.8 million members, SECU provides services through 248 branch offices, 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Contact Centers and a website, www.ncsecu.org.

Diebold, Inc. is a leader in providing integrated self-service delivery and security systems and services. Diebold employs more than 16,000 associates with representation in nearly 90 countries worldwide and is headquartered in the Canton, Ohio region, USA. For more information, visit the company´s website at www.diebold.com or follow the company on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DieboldInc.

Swiss private bank UBP acquires Lloyds’ international private banking arm for £100m

Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privee UBP SA has agreed to take over UK Lloyds Banking Group plc’s (LON:LLOY) international private banking arm for up to GBP100m (USD151.7m/EUR117m) in cash, the companies said in separate statements.

The target offers various personalised banking, investment and planning services to high net worth individuals and families. Last year it posted a loss of some GBP50m. The deal involves branches in Geneva, Zurich, Monaco and Gibraltar and a representative office in Montevideo. The agency office in Miami, as well as Lloyds’s UK offshore businesses, including the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Gibraltar, are not part of the transaction, the vendor said.

The purchase price includes an initial payment of GBP65m, to be made at closing, with the remainder of the sum to be provided as a deferred payment over a period of two years, depending on the business’s performance.

The acquisition, which is in line with UBP’s growth strategy, will allow the company to enhance its presence in Switzerland, as well as in its core growth markets, including the Middle East and Latin America. The addition will bolster its assets under management by more than CHF10bn (USD10.4bn/EUR8bn). At the end of April, they stood at at CHF83.2bn, the buyer said.

On the other hand, Lloyds stated that the sale was part of a plan to shrink and simplify its international presence, while focusing on the UK, Channel Islands and the UK Expat marketplace.

The transaction hinges upon regulatory approvals, among other conditions. It is seen to be completed in stages. The vendor said it expects to transfer the bulk of the business in the second half of 2013 and the remaining part by the first quarter of 2014. It added that in line with its strategy, it will also intended to exit South Africa.

UBP took counsel from Caurus Partners Sarl and MilleniumAssociates AG on the transaction.

Bombardier honours SkyWest Airlines for reliability

Utah, USA-based carrier SkyWest Airlines (NASDAQ: SKYW) said it has once again been recognised by Canadian airframer Bombardier (TSX: BBD-B) with the manufacturer´s 2012 annual Airline Reliability Performance Award.

SkyWest Airlines has received Bombardier´s Airline Reliability Performance Award for the third year running for the CRJ200, and was newly awarded for the CRJ700 and CRJ900 this year, sweeping all product categories.

Bombardier´s reliability award recipients are selected from operators of Q-Series turboprops and CRJ regional jets that have achieved at least 99% dispatch reliability throughout the year.

For 2012, SkyWest said it achieved the highest dispatch reliability in North America for both the CRJ100/200 and CRJ700/900/1000 categories. SkyWest has previously earned the top honors for the CRJ100/200 category in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.

SkyWest partners with network carriers including United Airlines (NYSE: UAL), Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL), US Airways (NYSE: LCC), American Airlines (OTC: AAMRQ) and Alaska Airlines (NYSE: ALK).

The carrier has a fleet of 327 aircraft, including 285 CRJ200, 700 and 900s, and operates more than 1,800 flights each day to 171 destinations throughout North America.

Visit www.skywest.com for more information.

German renewables group Entrade acquires bio-energy firm Agnion

German renewables specialist The Entrade Group said today it had acquired bio-energy plants operator Agnion Energy Inc from its owners for an undisclosed amount.

Entrade agreed this month to buy the business from venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Wellington Partners, Munich Venture Partners and waste management services provider Waste Management Inc (NYSE:WM).

The vendors’ previous combined investment in the target amounts to EUR35m (USD45m).

Benefits from the acquisition include technology transfer and synergies in wood gasification, the buyer noted.

Agnion, which is headquartered in Pfaffenhofen, Germany and has a branch in Bolzano, Italy, will be integrated into Entrade Energiesysteme AG.

IMF predicts slower economic growth for China

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its forecast for China’s economy growth to 7.75% for this year,lower than the 8% forecast for 2013 that the IMF published in its World Economic Outlook in April this year, the BBC has reported.

This new forecast follows the IMF’s mission to Beijing, Shanghai, Guiyang and Anshun in China to hold discussions on prospects for the country’s economy and the challenges it faces.

During meetings with senior officials from the Chinese government, the People’s Bank of China, private sector representatives and academics, topics such as the effects of China’s policies globally and vice versa, in the context of the IMF’s analysis of policy spillovers from the top five systemic economies, were also discussed. David Lipton, the IMF’s first deputy managing director, joined the final policy discussions and met with vice premier Ma Kai, People’s Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan, finance minister Lou Jiwei and National Development and Reform Commission vice chairman Liu He.

The mission concluded that despite weak and uncertain global conditions, the pace of China’s economy should pick up moderately in the second half of 2013, in line with a projected mild pick-up in the global economy and as the recent credit expansion gains traction. Inflation is expected to be around 3% by the end of this year, while the external current account surplus is predicted to remain the same at around 2.5% of GDP.

However the IMF reports that China faces economic challenges, despite the favorable near-term outlook, with a rapid growth in total social financing as well as the quality of investment and its impact on repayment capacity. The country’s growth is said to have become too dependent on the continued expansion of investment by the property sector and local governments, which in turn affects financial positions. Further signs that the current growth model should change include high income inequality and environmental problems.

According to the IMF, the new Chinese government has said that it intends to embark on a comprehensive reform agenda that will ensure more balanced, inclusive and environmentally friendly growth going forward.

 

German limousine firm Blacklane enters US market

Berlin-based limousine operator Blacklane said it is venturing into the US market starting with Chicago.

Following a trial period to fine-tune the system in accordance to local circumstances, the chauffeur provider is said it ready to conquer the States.

Blacklane said its limousine service covers the whole city and surrounding “Chicagoland” area, with regular destinations including the central business district, financial institutions or popular tourist destinations along the waterfront.

Transfers to one of the neighboring states Wisconsin, Indiana or Michigan are also available – as long as either starting point or destination lies in the Chicago Metropolitan Area.

During the trial period, Blacklane it has received a positive response from customers and local partner companies alike. The limousine service can be booked with either the smartphone app or on the firm´s website.

Three vehicle categories are available to the firm´s clients, from business class limousines to luxury vans and first class sedans.

With the recent expansion, Blacklane limousines are now available in nine countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, UK and the United States.

Find out more at www.blacklane.com.

Half Price Books picks ExactTarget-powered digital marketing

Half Price Books´ digital marketing campaign on Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and email drove nearly 14,000 in-store sales with a coupon sent in February powered by global cross-channel digital marketing leader ExactTarget (NYSE: ET).

Using ExactTarget Email, SocialPages and SocialEngage, the retailer launched a “Booklover´s Weekend” Facebook tab offering Fans an opportunity to receive a coupon, resulting in nearly 36,000 new email subscribers in one month.

Half Price Books extends its social media presence by enabling email subscribers to share messages on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Using SocialEngage, the bookstore monitors social sharing to create authentic experiences by answering questions and providing relevant content.

Half Price Books is the largest family-owned new and used bookstore chain, with more than 110 retail locations in 16 states. Stores are open seven days a week and buy and sell new and used books, magazines, comics, records, CDs, DVDs and collectible items. For more information about Half Price Books, visit www.hpb.com.

ExactTarget is a leading global provider of cross-channel digital marketing software-as-a-service solutions that empower organizations of all sizes to communicate with their customers through email, mobile, social media, Web and marketing automation. For more information, visit www.ExactTarget.com.

Gartner gives Accenture highest rating for business intelligence and information management services

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) was rated “Strong Positive,” the highest possible rating given, in Gartner´s latest “MarketScope for Business Intelligence and Information Management Services, North America” and “MarketScope for Business Intelligence and Information Management Services, Western Europe.”

“Accenture Analytics helps governments and businesses navigate the analytics journey to return on investment (ROI) from data and analytics to insights and actions,” said Narendra Mulani, senior managing director, Accenture Analytics. “The business intelligence and information management strategies and solutions lay the critical technology enablement groundwork for the analytic capabilities that our clients require to turn issues into business outcomes and ultimately to outperform the competition. We believe our ´Strong Positive´ rating is proof that our clients view Accenture as a strategic and valued partner.”

The Gartner´s MarketScopes evaluate Accenture´s four Innovation Centers in North America and its seven Innovation Centers in Western Europe which help clients understand how analytics capabilities can be integrated into specific domain needs or by enterprise application ecosystem. With the opening of its latest Analytics Innovation Center in Singapore, Accenture now has 23 Analytics Innovation Centers worldwide.

Accenture Analytics´ comprehensive analytics portfolio covers industry-specific offerings (e.g., banking), cross-industry offerings (e.g., big data, in-memory solutions) and functional solutions (e.g., sales and customer service). To leverage emerging technologies and solutions for analytics, the company has alliances with market-leading technology providers and fosters relationships with multiple emerging niche analytics players.

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 261,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Its home page is www.accenture.com.