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Wal-Mart, seeking to drive customer traffic, enters the money transfer business with a bang

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Wal-Mart is delving deeper into financial services at its stores and shaking up the money transfer business. The world's largest retailer introduced a new money transfer service Thursday that it says will cut fees for its low-income customers by up to 50 per cent compared with similar services elsewhere. The Walmart-2-Walmart service is being rolled out in partnership with Ria Money Transfer, a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide Inc. Shares of money-transfer companies MoneyGram and Western Union slid Thursday.

Apache CEO, Vermont activist build alliance on climate issues

By Ross Kerber NEW YORK (Reuters) - Steve Farris runs a $33 billion Texas oil and gas company and turns, for advice, to a bearded Vermont environmentalist. As other energy firms battled climate change and anti-pollution activists in recent years, the Apache Corp chief executive instead built an alliance with Steven Heim, managing director of Boston Common Asset Management, one of the better-known socially responsible investment firms.

US-INDUSTRY Summary

Disney sees operating income growth at cable networks LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co's cable networks are expected to record high single-digit growth in operating income and domestic affiliate revenue from fiscal 2014 through 2016, Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo told investors on Thursday. "We feel very good about the long-term growth of our cable business," Rasulo said at a meeting for investors at its the company's ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. Barnes & Noble chairman cuts stake in company again

Target expands subscription service as it fends off Amazon.com in fight for online shoppers

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Target is taking aim at rival Amazon by expanding a service that regularly delivers products to shoppers' homes. The nation's second-largest discounter started its subscription service in September by offering 150 baby products, like baby wipes and diapers, for delivery. Target is expanding that program tenfold by adding nearly 1,600 items, from beauty products to pet supplies to home office supplies. The discounter also is offering a five per cent discount on items ordered through the program.

Business Highlights

___ China factories face new challenge as growth slows HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese manufacturers are discovering that being an efficient low-cost producer is no longer enough to prosper in the face of the country's slowing growth. Government priorities are changing, labour costs are rising and global demand is still weak. This puts pressure on manufacturers to move into more advanced production, consolidate into bigger entities or shift to cheaper inland regions to survive.

Fed bond buying twice as effective on growth as BoE's: research

By David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - Bond purchases by the U.S. Federal Reserve have been twice as effective at boosting economic output as those by the Bank of England, research by a BoE policymaker showed on Thursday. The findings are likely to be of interest to the European Central Bank, which is weighing whether to start an asset purchase program in the euro zone to ward off the threat of deflation.

Philip Morris Int'l 1Q profit down 12 pct on lower cigarette sales, unfavourable exchange rates

RICHMOND, Va. - Philip Morris International's first-quarter profit dropped nearly 12 per cent as cigarette sales fell in the overseas markets that it serves and it was hurt by foreign exchange rates for the U.S. dollar. While adjusted earnings topped Wall Street expectations, shares fell almost 3 per cent in early trading. The seller of Marlboro and other cigarette brands outside the United States earned $1.88 billion, or $1.18 per share, in the January-March quarter, down from $2.13 billion, or $1.28 per share, a year ago.

Wal-Mart takes on Western Union with store-to-store money transfers

By Phil Wahba (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Thursday it was launching a new domestic money transfer service called "Walmart-2-Walmart" in partnership with Euronet Worldwide Inc subsidiary Ria Money Transfer, competing directly with Western Union Co. Western Union shares were down 7.1 percent in premarket trading, while those of MoneyGram International Inc, which currently provides money transfer services for Wal-Mart, were down 14.6 percent. Euronet was up 4.2 percent.

Gov't cuts basic view of economy for 1st time in 17 months

The government on Thursday downgraded its basic assessment of Japan's economy for the first time in 17 months in its monthly report for April, citing weakening consumer spending after the consumption tax hike earlier this month. The Japanese economy is "on a moderate recovery trend," but "some weak movements are seen lately" after the end of last-minute buying prior to the first tax increase in 17 years, the Cabinet Office said in its latest monthly economic report, downgrading the view on private consumption for the first time in seven months.

Yahoo nominates company co-founder, stock brokerage magnate, former Wal-Mart CEO to board

SUNNYVALE, Calif. - Yahoo co-founder David Filo is vying to rejoin the Internet company's board after an 18-year absence. The 47-year-old Filo is among three board candidates hoping to be elected at Yahoo's annual meeting scheduled for June 25. Yahoo Inc. disclosed the candidates to fill recently vacated positions in a regulatory filing Wednesday. The other nominees to the board are Charles Schwab, the founder of a stock brokerage that still bears his name, and H. Lee Scott Jr., the former CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Yahoo Inc. CEO Marissa Mayer is on Wal-Mart's board.
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