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Slim Snags Bigger NYT Stake; India Widens Satyam Fraud Probe; Kirin Expanding Beverage Empire; Citigroup Reaffirms Commitment to Japan; Italian Carmaker Eyes Chrysler Stake; Oil Slips 5.4%; Costa Rica Crushed by Crisis; Brazilian Job Losses Mount;
- Mexico's billionaire media tycoon Carlos Slim plans to invest $250 million in the New York Times Co. (NYT), The New York Times reported. Slim already holds a 6.4% share in the company, which is struggling to raise capital in the face of falling advertising sales and dwindling subscriptions.
- India's government extended its fraud investigation to a pair of companies – Maytas Properties and Maytas Infra – owned by the founders of Satyam Computer Services Ltd., believing they may be linked to the $1 billion fraud caused by falsified accounts. "There seems to be a nexus between the events that have taken place in Satyam and Maytas Properties and Maytas Infra," Company Affairs Minister Prem Chand Gupta told reporters today, Bloomberg reported. "The government has approved and authorized the inspectors to obtain books, records, papers" of the Maytas firms.
- Japanese beverage maker Kirin Holdings Co., already the largest foreign shareholder San Miguel Corp., is in talks to buy a 43.25% stake in the companies Philippines brewing unit. Though a price tag hasn't been floated, the deal is expected to close by the end of February, Bloomberg reported.
- Citigroup, Inc. (C) pushed back at reports that it is trying to unload some of its Japanese holdings to Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. "Citi remains committed to maximizing the value of Nikko Cordial and Nikko Asset Management over the next few years," a Citi spokesman in Tokyo said, Reuters reported.
- Italian automaker Fiat SpA is holding discussions with Chrysler LLC about taking a stake in the U.S. carmaker and creating a partnership that would allow it to build and sell its low-emission vehicles in the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday (Monday).
- Oil prices yesterday (Monday) fell below $35 a barrel as tensions in Gaza cooled and investors braced for what will no doubt be a weak earnings season. Light, sweet crude for February delivery fell $1.96, or 5.37%, to settle at $34.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
- A Costa Rican official yesterday (Monday) told The Associated Press that as a result of the global economic crisis. Costa Rican Investment Board Director Gabriela Llobet said Monday that 30 foreign companies established operations in Costa Rica in 2008, and together with other foreign countries already there generated investments of $428 million.
- Brazil's Labor Ministry says the country lost 654,000 jobs in December – the worst loss for the month was the worst since May 1999. Still, , The Associated Press reported.