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Business briefs: Citigroup to pay securities settlement

NEW YORK – Citigroup has agreed to pay $1.13 billion to settle claims by investors seeking that the lender buy back billions in residential mortgage-backed securities.

The New York-based investment bank said Monday that the pact it reached with 18 institutional investors calls for Citigroup to make a binding offer to the trustees of 68 Citi-sponsored trusts that bundled some $59.4 billion in home loans into securities from 2005 to 2008.

The settlement offer, which must be approved by the trustees and the court, would release Citi from having to buy back mortgages sold to the trusts.

But the lender would remain vulnerable to other types of investor claims, including misrepresentations in the offering documents associated with the securities. It could also face potential actions by regulators.

The agreement also doesn’t cover home loans sold through private-label securitization trusts via Citi’s consumer mortgage business.

Ford recalls Escapes to fix rust problem

DETROIT – Ford is recalling nearly 435,000 cars to fix rusting frame parts or faulty seats.

The biggest of the two recalls covers nearly 386,000 Ford Escapes from the 2001 through 2004 model years. Ford says the subframes can rust, allowing a control arm to separate and hamper steering control. Ford is aware of one crash but no injuries linked to the problem.

The SUVs were originally sold or registered in 20 states and Washington, D.C., where salt is used to clear snow and ice from roads. Seven Canadian provinces also are included.

Dealers will install a reinforcement brace.

The second recall covers 49,000 Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, Ford Escape and C-MAX vehicles from 2013 and 2014. Dealers will replace seat back frames that weren’t welded properly.

Target finding Canada tough market to crack

For years, Canadians would cross the border to the U.S. to shop at Target. Exporting its cheap chic there seemed like a no-brainer.

But a year after opening more than 100 stores north of the border, Target has found business isn’t so easy.

Shelves are hard to keep stocked. Shoppers complain the prices are higher than at U.S. stores. Sales have been weak, and the retailer lost nearly a billion dollars in Canada for the year.

Company giving away Alaska mining shares

JUNEAU, Alaska – A major shareholder of a company behind a contentious Alaska mine project is giving its shares away to Alaska charitable organizations, at least one of which is part of a larger group that has come out publicly against the project.

London-based mining company Rio Tinto on Monday announced plans to give its shares invested in Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. to the Alaska Community Foundation and the Bristol Bay Native Corp. Education Foundation. Rio Tinto executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said by giving the shares to the organizations, the company is ensuring that Alaskans would have a say in the future development of the mine.

Rio Tinto said the proposed Pebble Mine project, which would sit near the headwaters of the world’s largest salmon fishery, doesn’t fit with its strategy.

The project has faced a series of setbacks by those worried about its environmental repercussions.


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