India says it won’t ban BlackBerry services for at least 60 days, easing up on the threat leveled over access to encrypted data. The Ministry of Home Affairs says it will “review the situation in 60 days,” after telecom authorities examine Research In Motion’s proposals to give security agencies greater access to corporate e-mail and instant messaging. RIM is facing widespread concern over its strong data encryption, which is beloved by corporate customers eager to guard secrets but troublesome for some governments in the Middle East and Asia, which worry it could be used by militants to avoid detection.
H-P board OKs stock buyback
Hewlett-Packard Co. said Monday its board has authorized the repurchase of $10 billion in shares. The announcement comes as the personal computer maker is involved in a bidding contest with rival Dell Inc. for the data storage company 3Par Inc. Shares of H-P, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., rose $1.28, or 3.4 percent, to $39.28 in early trading. H-P said it plans to use the share buyback authorization to manage share dilution from employee stock plans and to buy back shares opportunistically.
Intel to purchase German wireless firm
Intel Corp. is buying the wireless communications unit of Germany’s Infineon Technologies AG for $1.4 billion in cash, the second deal in as many weeks that allows the chipmaker to expand beyond the struggling personal computer market. Intel has tried with limited success to get its chips into cell phones. It is hoping to change that by buying Infineon’s wireless business, which makes chips for smart phones such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone. It’s a problem Intel is urgently trying to fix because the smart phone market is too lucrative for Intel to remain a bit player. Intel’s chips are criticized as being too power-hungry for today’s smart phones. The Infineon deal would give Intel technical know-how to make chips for small devices that don’t drain batteries as quickly. That expertise is particularly needed for chips built around the low-power ARM architecture, which is widely used in cell phones.
T-bill rates mixed in Monday auction
The Treasury Department auctioned three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.145 percent, down from 0.155 percent last week. Six-month bills were auctioned at a discount rate of 0.19 percent, up from 0.185 percent last week. The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,996.33 while a six-month bill sold for $9,990.39. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.147 percent for the three-month bills and 0.193 percent for the six-month bills. Separately, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for changing adjustable rate mortgages, rose to 0.26 percent last week from 0.25 percent the previous week.
From Herald news services