Business

Briefcase

AIG obtains $3 billion in credit facilities

NEW YORK – Insurance giant AIG is taking yet another step on its road to recovery, obtaining $3 billion in credit facilities.

The news sent AIG shares soaring 9 percent Monday.

The New-York based company said it will be able to tap the facilities once it finishes paying back its bailouts. American International Group Inc. received the biggest government rescue of any financial company during the recent crisis. Its lifelines from the Federal Reserve and Treasury were worth $182 billion.

The $3 billion in credit facilities will be split evenly between a 364-day agreement and a three-year agreement. AIG also said that Chartis has entered a one-year, $1.3 billion letter of credit facility. There are 36 banks participating in the facilities.

Associated Press

2010 was tough year for Japan, its economy

TOKYO – Japan has been overtaken by China as the world’s No. 2 economy. Its flagship company, Toyota, recalled more than 10 million vehicles in an embarrassing safety crisis. Its fourth prime minister resigned in three years, and the government remains unable to jolt an economy entering its third decade of stagnation.

For once-confident Japan, 2010 may well mark a symbolic milestone in its slide from economic giant to what experts see as its likely destiny: a second-tier power with some standout companies but limited global influence.

As Japanese drink up at year-end parties known as “bonen-kai,” or “forget-the-year gatherings,” this is one many will be happy to forget.

Problem is, there’s little to look forward to. With a rapidly aging population, bulging national debt, political gridlock and a risk-averse culture slow to embrace change, Japan’s prospects aren’t promising. And a tense, high-seas spat with China has intensified fears of its neighbor as a military as well as economic threat.

Associated Press

Satellite TV companies upset by tax decision

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Satellite TV companies say an Ohio court decision upholding a sales tax that doesn’t also apply to cable TV is unfair and hurts all consumers.

DirecTV and Dish Network Corp. also say if the tax were applied equally to both industries Ohio could collect millions more in tax revenue. The companies said in a statement that the Ohio Supreme Court ruling Monday means Ohio consumers won’t have an alternative to increasing cable TV costs.

Ohio’s highest court ruled 5-2 to affirm a lower court decision that the tax does not amount to unconstitutional discrimination because it’s based on the different nature of the companies’ business activities.

Attorneys for the satellite industry indicated earlier that an appeal was likely.

Associated Press



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