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A leading U.S. business group on Monday said it was creating a new body called the U.S.-South Africa Business Council as part of a broader effort to respond to increased competition throughout Africa from China, Europe and others. “We need to elevate the business community’s game in the continent. We have American investment there, but we have fallen behind frankly in the last 10 years,” Myron Brilliant, senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said. The initiative is the latest U.S. effort to make up lost ground in Africa, which this year is home to many of the [...]

HONG KONG A group of Chinese companies, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), is in talks to buy nearly all of American International Group Inc’s aircraft leasing unit for about $ 5.5 billion, AIG said on Friday. The deal is expected to be announced as soon as early next week, a source familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity. AIG, which has been selling assets to pay back a $ 182 billion U.S. government bailout from 2008, had long been hoping to float its ILFC unit through an initial public offering, but poor market conditions forced [...]

VIENNA Facebook privacy campaign group europe-v-facebook plans to go to court in Ireland a bid to make the world’s biggest social network do more to protect the privacy of its hundreds of millions of members, it said on Tuesday. The Austrian student group has been campaigning for better data protection by Facebook for more than a year and has won some concessions on users’ control of their own data and transparency on the part of Facebook over the data it collects and stores. “We are hoping for a legally compliant solution from the Irish data protection authority,” the group said. [...]

VIENNA An Austrian student group plans to sue Facebook Inc, the world’s biggest social network, for failing to do enough to protect the privacy of its hundreds of millions of members. Privacy campaign group europe-v-facebook, which has been lobbying for better data protection by Facebook for over a year, said on Tuesday it planned to sue the U.S. company in Ireland, where it has its international headquarters. The move is one of a number of campaigns against the giants of the internet, which are under pressure from investors to generate more revenue from their huge user bases but which also [...]

NEW YORK A group of some of bankrupt American Airlines’ most significant bondholders said it will not support a standalone restructuring unless a new board is brought in, a move that may increase hurdles for Chief Executive Tom Horton and his team. The 12-member bondholder group, which includes JPMorgan Chase & Co , Pentwater Capital Management and York Capital Management, is the primary well-organized group to have expressed an interest in funding an independent exit for the airline’s parent company AMR Corp. AMR filed for bankruptcy in November 2011, seeking to reduce labor costs. Entities that gain a controlling equity [...]

HONG KONG/JAKARTA Financier Nat Rothschild is forming a rival consortium, including a contender for Indonesia’s presidency, to launch a counter-offer to the $ 1.4 billion Bumi Plc buyout proposal from the Bakrie family, in a deal that would pour fuel on an already smoldering relationship. Sources familiar with the matter said Rothschild – who set up Bumi with the Bakries two years ago – was in talks with various partners including former general and current presidential candidate, Prabowo Subianto, to thwart the Bakrie plan and take control of parts of the coal empire. The sources, who declined to be identified [...]

A nonprofit group has accused Bank of America Corp of maintaining foreclosed homes in white neighborhoods in the U.S. Midwest much better than those it owns in nearby black and Latino neighborhoods, and of marketing the homes in white neighborhoods more effectively. The National Fair Housing Alliance filed the accusations with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Tuesday. They come on top of similar accusations against Bank of America filed by the NFHA last month, which alleged disparities in the maintenance and marketing of foreclosed homes in California, Michigan, and along the East Coast. The new details [...]

Backers of liquefied natural gas will launch the first major campaign on Monday to press lawmakers to allow the sale of more U.S. gas abroad, as the industry push for exports intensifies. The effort by the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas will include a new web site and outreach aimed at policymakers and the public, making the case that selling the nation’s surplus natural gas to foreign countries will yield significant economic benefits and not drastically raise prices. “There is a lot of stranded investment waiting to be unleashed in these projects that would pour billions of dollars into local [...]

LOS ANGELES European private-equity firm Permira and a group of other investors have reached a deal to buy U.S. genealogy website Ancestry.com Inc. for about $ 1.6 billion, or $ 32 a share, The Wall Street Journal reported early Monday, citing unnamed people familiar with the deal. Shares of Ancestry.com ended Friday trading at $ 29.18. The report said the investors hope to grow the site globally, with expansion into Western Europe a goal.

Do you dread the sight of your daughter lugging home order forms for every imaginable sport and club she belongs to? From cookies to wrapping paper to flower bulbs, it seems like the only way these groups raise money today is by sending out an army of little salespeople.When my oldest son was in Cub Scouts, I finally decided I couldn’t force him to march through the neighborhood one more time selling stuff (especially since three other Scouts lived on the same block, which meant it was a race to see who got to which neighbor!). I was a leader [...]

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