Under The Radar News - Tuesday

by: SA Eli Hoffmann

Exxon lands Irish stake. ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) with its Irish partner Providence Resources is likely to be awarded a new parcel of land off Ireland's west coast. In return for drilling a well on the prospect, Exxon will receive an 80% stake in the license.

Apple looks for new China partner. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will likely negotiate with either China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) or China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) as it looks to rollout the iPhone in China.

Note for iPhone on the way. IBM (NYSE:IBM) is close to announcing a version of Lotus Notes for the iPhone (AAPL). This would ease the way for corporate IT departments to give iPhone users access to their corporate email accounts, which thus far many have avoided.

New features for MacBook Pro. Apple (AAPL) will begin using its new gesture-based trackpads across its MacBook line up, after they make their debut in the recently announced MacBook Air. Updated MacBooks will also be the first to use Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) Penryn-based Core 2 Duo mobile processors, with clock frequencies of 2.5GHz to 2.6GHz and 6MB of Level 2 cache.

United Airlines keeping options open. United (UAUA) is considering a new round of merger talks with Continental Airlines (NYSE:CAL) if negotiations with Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) break down.

Vodafone's pole position. Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) wants greater exposure to the Chinese mobile phone market, it says. VOD has a 3.3% stake in China Mobile (NYSE:CHL), which it could swap for a larger stake in another Chinese network. CEO Arun Sarin says VOD is in the 'pole position' in China, due to its CHL investment.

CIBC may take hit on Ambac downgrade. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (NYSE:CM) may be forced to take additional writedowns on its U.S. subprime investments after Ambac Financial (ABK) became the first bond insurer to lose its AAA debt rating, analysts say.

JPMorgan/WaMu merger rumors build. Speculation over a JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) acquisition of WaMu (NYSE:WM) grew over the weekend. Buying WaMu would give JPM exposure to the Southeast and the West Coast.

Biogen considers huge acquisition. Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) could spend up to $10B to acquire a company without late stage drugs, its CEO says.

NBC to create big-budget British TV. NBC Universal (NYSE:GE) has been in talks since December with British-based film producer Working Title to launch an international television business to create "big-budget British productions." NBC would either carry the shows or sell them to other networks. NBC owns a controlling stake in Working Title.

Wipro grabs $100M contract from Saudi Airlines. Saudi Arabian Airlines agreed to a 5-year outsourcing contract with Wipro (NYSE:WIT) valued at over $100M for IT infrastructure transformation.