Iceland sets date for Icesave referendum

The people of Iceland will vote March 6 on whether to approve a deal to repay $5.7 billion to the U.K. and Netherlands for depositors’ losses in a collapsed online bank, the government announced Tuesday.

The Ministry of Justice said in a statement it had agreed the date with the national electoral committee. March 6 is the latest date the vote can be held under Icelandic election rules.

Earlier this month Icelandic President Olafur R. Grimsson invoked a rarely used power to veto the bill, which laid out terms for repaying the Dutch and British governments for money they paid to compensate depositors whose savings were lost in the collapse of Icesave Internet bank.

The dispute has jeopardized Iceland’s bid to join the European Union and threatened a crucial $4.6 billion bailout package promised by the IMF and Nordic countries. [Read the full article]

TOKYO — Japan Airlines filed for one of Japan’s largest bankruptcies ever, entering a restructuring that will shrink Asia’s top carrier and its presence around the world.

Staggering under a $25.6 billion debt mountain, the carrier applied for protection from creditors.

Japan’s flagship airline will slash nearly 16,000 jobs, reduce pensions for retired staff, cut routes and shift to more fuel-efficient aircraft as part of its restructuring.

Some $10 billion of government cash will keep JAL’s planes in the air during the reorganization. Lenders will forgive $8 billion in debt, and JAL shares will be removed from the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Feb. 20, wiping out investors.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average fell 0.8 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1 percent, China’s Shanghai index edged up 0.3 percent, South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.1 percent, Australia’s market shed 1 percent and Taiwan retreated 1.1 percent. [Read the full article]

NCR Corp. said Tuesday it signed a deal with Westpac New Zealand to upgrade its automated teller machines and provide better service at the bank’s branches.

The maker of ATMs, checkout scanners and self-serve kiosks will be responsible for replacing more than 400 of Westpac’s ATMs by June, under terms of the nine-year, multimillion dollar contract. The deal also includes onsite maintenance, remote support and help-desk services for up to nine years in renewable three-year terms.

Shares of NCR gained 33 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $12.37 in afternoon trading. Over the past year, the stock has traded in a range of $6.62 to $14.35.

Time Inc. is looking beyond advertising revenue to help bolster InStyle magazine’s online edition, saying Tuesday it will acquire the personal shopping Web site StyleFeeder.

While online versions of newspapers and magazines have seen ad revenue climb over the past decade, that growth has not kept pace with steep declines in print revenue.

StyleFeeder, which Time plans to integrate with, combines advertising with a slice of the profits earned when shoppers make retail purchases online.

Time did not disclose the purchase price but said the site has more than 1 million registered users.

Fran Hauser, the president of digital operations for Time’s Style & Entertainment Group, said StyleFeeder has already negotiated revenue-sharing terms with more than 2,000 online retailers, though she declined to give specifics.

“Shopping is a natural extension of what women do on,” she said. [Read the full article]

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