Good morning

Two observations:

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  • Happy last-day-of-winter to the Southern Hemisphere. I, for one, am excited.

The headlines:

  1. Apple loses a patent case!

    Link: in Japan.

    Apple was told to pay costs for the lawsuit after Tokyo District judge Tamotsu Shoji dismissed Apple’s claim. Samsung’s share price rose on the news.

    I make that a win (California), a loss (Japan) and a draw (South Korea) for Apple. And vice versa for Samsung.

    It’s like a smartphone patent World Cup.

  2. Harvard cheating probe.

    Link: for some reason, this makes me think of Yale espionage.

    125 students from a class of 250 are appearing before an Administrative board.

    The cheating took place on a take-home exam, where it seems that “electronic communication” took place and there were some issues around who said what first and how it was referenced. It always comes down to referencing. Always.

    The final year class was apparently Government 1310: Introduction to Congress.

    Which I find strangely ironic. There should be bonus points for “showing practical initiative in being a congressperson”.

    And actually – I also want a take-home exam!

  3. Sharp’s share drop in share price.

    Link: Foxconn leaves them speechless.

    The Foxconn CEO Terry Gou was in Japan to discuss investing in Sharp. He left without saying anything. And elected not to attend the press conference*. The Tokyo stock exchange reacted thusly:

    For the record, that graph was astonishingly hard to find. And the share ticker for Sharp Corp. is somewhat anonymously “6753.T”.

    *Which kind of goes without saying. Which is somehow poetic.

  4. South Africa’s big budget deficit for July.

    Link: a Citigroup analyst confesses disappointment.

    SA’s July budget deficit was announced at R57.5 billion ($6.8 billion) on weaker revenues and surging state expenditure.

    A Citigroup analyst was disappointed and declared that the figures weren’t in line with what the full year budget implied.

    Finance Minister Pravin Ghordan has pledged to reduce the budget deficit to 3% of GDP. We shall see.

  5. Qatar calls Glencore on its bluff.

    Link: the Qatari sovereign wealth fund rules out accepting the Glencore bid for Xstrata.

    So earlier this week/last week, Glencore told the Qataris that Xstrata shareholders could foxtrot oscar (politely) if they thought that the bid offer would change.

    The Qataris announced yesterday that they have indeed elected to do the foxtrot. Which sort of foxtrots the whole deal, if you know what I mean.

    The Qatar Sovereign Fund owns 12% of Xstrata. In order for the deal to be approved at the Shareholder Meeting on September 7th, the deal can be blocked by 16.48% of the shareholders, as Glencore (with its 34% stake) is excluding from voting procedures under British law. That is, the merger needs a special resolution of 75% of the eligible votes. And basically, as eligible votes go, Qatar has 18% – just 7% short of the required block vote.

    We’re waiting to see who folds first.

That’s all for now.

Have a good weekend.