Gareth Vaughan details the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am in association with Bank of New Zealand.
China will screen television advertisements in the United States during President Hu Jintao’s state visit this week in an effort to help improve its image. The adverts will feature Chinese celebrities such as basketball player Yao Ming and astronaut Yang Liwei. They come after a recent survey showed one in five Americans identified China as the greatest threat to the US, more than any other country.
Andrew Penn, chief executive of AXA Asia Pacific, may get a A$17 million payout following his company’s proposed A$14.6 billion takeover by AMP. Penn, who has been at AXA Asia Pacific for 20 years, stands to pocket A$8 million in options plus a $A9 million termination payout.
However, AXA shareholders have the chance to veto the payout through a vote at an extraordinary general meeting on March 2.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has again stepped aside to focus on his health meaning chief operating officer Tim Cook will step into Jobs’s shoes for the third time in seven years to oversee the company behind iPods, iPhone and iPads. Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, took an almost six- month break for a liver transplant in 2009 and had cancer surgery in 2004. Jobs said he would continue to be involved in Apple’s major strategic decisions. See a timeline here on Steve Jobs's health reports since his cancer diagnosis in 2003.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that investors now believe junk bonds sold by companies in Europe are safer than that continent's riskiest bank debt for the first time as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis rumbles on.
Relative yields on speculative, or junk, grade European company debt have shrunk 51 basis points to 437 since October 31, a month before Ireland asked for an 85 billion euro bailout. Over the same timeframe, subordinated bank bond spreads have widened by 125 basis points to 466.