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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 14, 2009

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Lender CIT Group seeks federal bailout


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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Japan's two biggest beverage makers Suntory and Kirin may merge, creating the world's fifth-largest food company by sales, the Nikkei business newspaper reported.

KIYOSHI OTA | Bloomberg News Service

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NEW YORK In a sign the financial crisis isn't over, CIT Group Inc., the No. 1 lender to small and mid-sized U.S. businesses, is scrambling to get help from the federal government.

The ailing company's stock fell toward $1 yesterday as investors fearing a bankruptcy court filing unloaded the shares. A collapse of CIT, whose 1 million clients include big names from the franchisee of Dunkin' Donuts to retailer Dillard's Inc., could deal a crushing blow to the economy by cutting off financing just as businesses need it most, analysts said.

That in turn could force thousands of small and medium-sized companies to drastically cut costs or shut down driving up unemployment and dashing hopes for a swift economic recovery.

GM MAY GET SOME ASSETS OF DELPHI

NEW YORK A bankruptcy judge yesterday approved a deal that could shift some of auto parts supplier Delphi's assets to General Motors Co., which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week.

U.S. Judge Robert Gerber, who is overseeing the liquidation of Motors Liquidation Co., the collection of assets and liabilities left over after the sale of prized GM assets to a new company, gave his approval to the deal, allowing GM and an affiliate of Platinum Equity to buy the bulk of Delphi's assets and help the auto supplier emerge from bankruptcy protection.

FEDERAL DEFICIT TOPS $1 TRILLION

WASHINGTON Nine months into the fiscal year, the federal deficit has topped $1 trillion for the first time.

The Treasury Department said yesterday that the deficit in June totaled $94.3 billion, pushing the total since the budget year started in October to nearly $1.1 trillion.

KIRIN, SUNTORY ARE CONSIDERING MERGER

TOKYO Japan's top two beverage makers, Kirin and Suntory, are considering merging their operations, a Suntory spokesman said yesterday.

A merger would create the world's fifth-largest food company by sales, just behind Kraft Foods Inc. and Pepsico Inc., the Nikkei business newspaper reported.

It also would help the companies overcome a saturated domestic market with an aging population and compete more strongly with large international brands.