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Tue, Mar 23, 2010 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■INSURANCE

Starr to sell AIG shares

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg’s Starr International Co agreed to sell as many as 10 million shares of American International Group Inc (AIG) to UBS AG in a deal that protects the seller against declines in the stock’s value. Under the so-called variable pre-paid forward sale, Starr may turn over shares starting in 2013 and receive about US$278.2 million, the investment firm said in a regulatory filing yesterday. Greenberg, the chief executive officer of AIG for almost four decades through 2005, runs Starr, which controls about 14 million AIG shares, its filing said. That is the largest private holding of stock in the New York-based insurer, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. AIG agreed in 2008 to turn over a majority stake to the US government in exchange for a bailout that swelled to US$182.3 billion.

■GREECE

No assistance needed: PM

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a telephone call on Sunday that Greece does not need any financial assistance at the moment, a German government spokesman said. “Chancellor Angela Merkel had a telephone conversation late this afternoon [Sunday] with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou about the current situation in the euro zone,” the spokesman said in a statement. “The Greek prime minister reaffirmed that Greece does not need any financial assistance. The chancellor reaffirmed her support for Greece’s reform policies and the determination of the EU to do everything necessary to ensure the stability of the euro zone.”

■HAITI

IADB erases Haitian debt

The governing board of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) agreed yesterday to raise US$70 billion in fresh capital and erase US$479 million of Haitian debt, Colombian Finance Minister Oscar Zuluaga said. “What was agreed in the declaration ... is a capital increase of US$70 billion,” he told reporters after a meeting of governors ended. Zuluaga said the capital increase was tied to a separate move to forgive US$479 million in loans to Haiti, which is in desperate need of aid after an earthquake hit in January. The IADB lends money and provides grants to its borrowing members in the Caribbean and Latin America.

■AVIATION

UAC denies contract bid

Russia’s state-run United Aviation Corp (UAC) does not plan to bid for a US$50 billion contract to replace a US military fleet of air tankers, a company source said yesterday. John Kirkland, a Los Angeles-based attorney, had told various news media over the weekend that UAC would announce a joint venture with a US defense contractor to enter the bidding for the lucrative tanker deal against Europe’s EADS and Boeing Co.

■OIL

Prices dip to about US$80

Oil prices dipped to about US$80 a barrel in Asian trade yesterday, extending last week’s losses caused by gains in the US dollar. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery next month, was down US$0.63 to US$80.05 a barrel. London’s Brent North Sea crude for May delivery shed US$0.42 to US$79.46 a barrel. “The market’s downward movement today is likely due to the fallout from the market’s sentiment on Friday,” said David Moore, a commodity strategist with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney.

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