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November 15, 2008

Company bringing 25 jobs to Cumberland

CUMBERLAND : A company that manages supplies for the aerospace industry says it is opening a warehouse in Cumberland that will create 25 jobs. Patton-air is a division of the British company Umeco PLC. Gov. Martin O'Malley says Pattonair has signed a supply agreement with ATK Tactical Propulsion and Controls, which operates out of the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in nearby Rocket Center, W.Va. The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development is providing Pattonair with a $50,000 conditional grant to assist with startup costs.

FDIC proposes $24 billion go to avoid foreclosures

WASHINGTON: Publicly breaking with the Bush administration's official stance, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. proposed yesterday using $24 billion in government funding to help 1.5 million American households avoid foreclosure. FDIC officials want to use part of the $700 billion bailout of the financial industry to pay for it. But the Treasury Department is opposed to that idea. Testifying on Capitol Hill yesterday, Neel Kashkari, the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for financial stability, said the aim of the $700 billion plan was to make investments with the hope of getting the money back. That, he said, was "fundamentally different from just having a government spending program" that would disburse money with no chance of ever seeing any returns.

Associated Press

Citigroup to raise rates of some credit-card users

NEW YORK : Citigroup Inc. said yesterday that it is raising interest rates for some of its U.S. credit-card customers after losses in its global card division skyrocketed. A spokesman declined to say how many cardholders would be affected by the changes or whether interest rates would be cut on some accounts. Citigroup had 182.7 million open card accounts during the third quarter. Earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported that Citigroup is telling some credit-card customers that their rates are being raised by an average of 3 percentage points and that less than 20 percent of the bank's customers could be affected, citing a person familiar with the company's strategy. The company said it has not repriced its Citi-branded cards in at least two years.

Associated Press

FedEx to raise rates 5.9 percent in January

MEMPHIS, Tenn.: FedEx says it will raise rates for its ground and home delivery services by an average of 5.9 percent, beginning Jan. 5. The package delivery company says it will also increase surcharges for some ground, home delivery and express shipments on that date. FedEx Corp. had announced earlier an average 6.9 percent increase in its express shipping rates for U.S. and U.S. export services, also effective Jan. 5.

Associated Press

Berkshire Hathaway increases Conoco holding

OMAHA, Neb: . Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's company picked up roughly 66 million shares of ConocoPhillips stock between March and September to gain control of nearly 6 percent of the oil company's stock. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday afternoon that provide a snapshot of its holdings at the end of the third quarter. The filing shows that Berkshire held nearly 84 million shares of ConocoPhillips on Sept. 30. It also shows a new Berkshire investment in 2.9 million shares of Eaton Corp. and several other changes to Berkshire's $69.9 billion U.S. stock portfolio. Berkshire reduced its stake in Bank of America Corp. from 9.1 million shares on June 30 to 5 million shares on Sept. 30.

Associated Press

Anheuser-Busch buyout gets U.S. approval

WASHINGTON: The Justice Department approved a $52 billion beer buzz yesterday, allowing Belgium-based InBev SA to buy out Anheuser-Busch and create the world's largest brewer. But InBev's buzz comes with a slight hiccup: It must sell subsidiary Labatt USA to win regulatory approval. Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light have less than 1 percent share of the U.S. market, but in upstate New York they go head-to-head with Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc.'s Budweiser and Bud Light and such MillerCoors LLC brands as Coors Light and Miller Lite. Without the sell-off condition, the Justice Department said, beer prices would increase in metropolitan Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y. due to lessened competition.

Associated Press

Fidelity's second round of cuts to take 1,700 jobs

BOSTON: Fidelity Investments will eliminate 1,700 jobs early next year in a second round of cuts at the nation's largest mutual fund company, which has seen its money management fees decline along with the markets. Combined with 1,300 cuts that Fidelity announced last week, the second round, disclosed yesterday, will eliminate about 7 percent of the company's work force of about 44,400, said Anne Crowley, a spokeswoman for Boston-based Fidelity.

Associated Press

Hartford Financial group restructures for bailout

HARTFORD, Conn.: Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. said yesterday that it applied to switch its business structure to a savings-and-loan holding company, which would make the firm eligible for funding under the government's $700 billion bank rescue package. Hartford also said it agreed to buy Federal Trust Bank of Sanford, Fla., for about $10 million and to recapitalize it. Hartford Financial petitioned the Office of Thrift Supervision for the change in status and applied to participate in the bailout.

Associated Press

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