Malaysian conglomerate plans Vegas mega-casino
LAS VEGAS - Panda habitats, tea gardens and red pagodas have never been part of the visual vocabulary of the Las Vegas Strip. But Sin City is about to get all three and much more as a Malaysian conglomerate prepares to build the first new mega-casino to come to town since the recession wiped out a slew of projects in 2008.
The Genting Group announced Monday that it will break ground in 2014 on the 87-acre site where the partially built Echelon project has sat for nearly five years, put on indefinite hold by Boyd Gaming Corp.
Executives said they are launching the new project despite continued softness of gambling revenue here because they are ideally positioned to capitalize on the flood of Asian tourists flocking to the Strip.
Tally of billionaires up by 16%, Forbes says
The list of the world's ultimate 1 percent has grown: Forbes magazine said its tally of billionaires around the globe climbed 16 percent from last year.
Topping the list is Carlos Slim, a telecommunications mogul from Mexico with a reported net worth of $73 billion. Microsoft Corp.'s Bill Gates came in second place, again, with a net worth of $67 billion.
Other notables saw their places drop as their bank accounts were squeezed in the last year. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg fell 31 spots as his net worth dropped by $4.2 billion. Warren Buffett, known as the Oracle of Omaha, dropped to the No. 4 slot after more than a decade in the top 3; his spot was taken over by Amancio Ortega, a Spaniard who holds a huge stake in the retail conglomerate that owns fast fashion brand Zara.
All told, 1,426 über-wealthy individuals made Forbes' 2013 list, a record-setting number. And their bank accounts fattened, too - average net worth jumped to $3.8 billion, a 3 percent increase from the year before.
Liliane Bettencourt, whose family owns more than 30 percent of cosmetics giant L'Oreal, is the world's wealthiest woman at $30 billion. The total number of women grew to 138, up from 104 the year before.
More than 30 percent of the billionaires - or 442 to be exact - call the United States home, the most of any nation in the world. Other clusters of this exclusive club live in Asia and Europe.
Judge warns JC Penney over Stewart product sales
NEW YORK - J.C. Penney, which is struggling with big losses and steep sales declines, could face another challenge: empty shelves.
New York State Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Oing told Penney's attorneys on Monday that the chain took a risk by ordering towels, cookware and other products from the company that home diva Martha Stewart founded. In fact, Oing said he could force Penney to stop the products from heading to the shelves this spring even as they come off the docks.
Oing said he will hear oral arguments on Friday over the issue of whether Penney can sell goods like towels designed by Martha Stewart Living that are covered by Macy's exclusive agreement but are not sold under the Martha Stewart brand name.
Stock market up 38 pts., holding above 14,000
NEW YORK - Investors brushed off early jitters about a potential slowdown in China and pushed the Dow to its highest close of the year.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 38.16 points, or 0.3 percent, to 14,127.82. The index is a fraction of a percentage point away from its record close of 14,164, reached on Oct. 9, 2007.
The stock market has rallied this year on optimism that the U.S. housing market is recovering and signs that companies are hiring more. Strong corporate earnings and continuing economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve have also boosted stock prices.
Los Angeles Times; The Associated Press