Daily Dispatch: Blackstone Group, Toyota, BP, U.S. Economy

Last Updated Jun 22, 2007 1:13 PM EDT

  • Blackstone Group had the sixth-richest IPO in U.S. history today, with stock prices spiking more than 20 percent. Excitement about the private-equity industry helped boost the share prices, despite criticism of the lavish incomes of the group's executives, who will receive the bulk of the income from the IPO as compensation. Blackstone's successful IPO may pave the way for other alternative investment funds, such as KKR and the Carlyle Group, to go public.
  • Toyota has elected its first American, Jim Press, to its board of directors, signifying the importance of the U.S. market to the company. Press is also the first American to head the company's North American unit. Toyota's U.S. sales now account for more than 35 percent of the company's global sales, and the car maker is expected to dethrone General Motors as the number-one car manufacturer in the U.S. later this year.
  • BP will sell its stake in a Siberian gas field to state-controlled OAO Gazprom, enabling the Kremlin to further tighten its hold on the world's biggest oil and gas industry. BP's venture had been under scrutiny from government environmental regulators. With the sale, BP avoids losing its investments in the area, and the Russian government can sidestep the appearance of evicting BP from a field that may contain as much gas as all of Canada.
  • The U.S. economy is "uncomfortably close" to stalling, the International Monetary Fund said in its annual report. The IMF believes, however, that the United States will be able to avoid a recession as business investments recover, the impact of the housing slump dissipates, and foreign economic growth supports exports.