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Wed, Jul 22, 2009 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■FINANCING

CIT reaches loan deal

US business lending giant CIT Group reached an emergency loan agreement worth US$3 billion with a group of its main bondholders to avoid bankruptcy, the firm said in a statement on Monday. The private loan, sought after the US government declined last week to offer the company another bailout, is “intended to provide CIT with liquidity necessary to ensure that its important base of small and middle market customers continues to have access to credit,” CIT said. The money is meant to give the company several weeks to set up an exchange of bondholders’ debt for equity.

■AUTOMOBILES

Volvo posts Q2 sales loss

The world’s second-biggest truck maker Volvo Group said yesterday that its net sales fell by a third in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. The Swedish group’s net sales fell by 32.7 percent to 53.9 million kronor (US$7 million) in the April to June period. Adjusted for currency changes and other factors, the decline was 45 percent. It made an operating loss of 6.8 million kronor compared to an operating profit of 7.2 million in the second quarter of last year.

■CHINA

State firms report losses

Profit at top state-owned companies fell 26.2 percent in the first half of the year but the decline is easing amid massive government stimulus spending, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. The 136 banks, airlines, oil producers and other companies controlled by the central government reported total profit of 316 billion yuan (US$46 billion) from January to last month, Xinhua said, citing the director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. The profit decline was an improvement over the first quarter’s more severe 41.8 percent contraction, Xinhua said.

■MEDIA

‘Globe’ staff take cuts

Staff at the teetering Boston Globe said they have agreed to a package of wage and benefit cuts, as the newspaper gropes for multimillion-dollar savings to stay afloat. The Globe’s owners, the New York Times Co, had asked workers to accept concessions in pay, benefits and job security as it looks to limit losses and find a buyer for the New England daily. The New York Times reported the deal could spell savings of up to US$10 million a year.

■FINANCING

Venturers cut investments

Venture capitalists cut their US investments in half during the spring, the second-consecutive quarter to mark a more than 50 percent decline, leaving the money flowing to startups at the slowest trickle in 12 years. Nearly US$3.7 billion poured into 612 venture-capital deals in the three months ending in last month, statistics from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association showed yesterday.

■SAUDI ARABIA

Kingdom Holding profits fall

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding said yesterday that its latest quarterly profits fell more than 80 percent from the same period of last year but showed signs of recovery. Kingdom showed profits of 92.1 million riyals (US$24.6 million) for the three months to June 30, compared with 534.7 million riyals for the same quarter last year, the company said. But the figure still represented an increase from the first quarter of this year, when Kingdom, tightly controlled by Alwaleed, reported a 50.1 million riyal profit.

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