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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, February 27, 2010

BUSINESS BRIEFS
AIG records $8.87B loss in fourth quarter


Advertiser News Services

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Dave Tryon transfers heating oil into a tank during a delivery in Newtown, Pa. Oil prices ended a week of wild trading yesterday by rising to nearly $80 a barrel.

MEL EVANS | Associated Press

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. AIG said yesterday it lost $8.87 billion in the fourth quarter as its general insurance business remained weak and the company ran up expenses from paying back government loans.

The troubled insurer also said in an annual regulatory filing that it may need additional support from the government. However, AIG has included such warnings in past filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The fourth-quarter results were an improvement from the $61.7 billion AIG lost in the year-ago period, but they were worse than analysts expected.

LAWMAKER BLASTS TOYOTA OVER PAPERS

WASHINGTON A House lawmaker said yesterday that internal Toyota documents show the automaker deliberately withheld key vehicle design and testing evidence in lawsuits filed by Toyota drivers injured in crashes.

In a letter to Toyota's top North American executive, House oversight committee Chairman Edolphus Towns accused Toyota of shielding its testing data on potential problems with Toyota vehicles.

Towns wrote that Toyota chose to enter hefty settlements with plaintiffs to avoid disclosing the database, which the lawmaker said was referred to as the "Books of Knowledge."

The Toyota documents "show a systematic disregard for the law and routine violation of court discovery orders in litigation," Towns wrote in the letter to Yoshimi Inaba.

Towns asked Inaba to respond to the issues raised by the documents by March 12.

CHINA NO. 1 FOREIGN HOLDER OF U.S. DEBT

WASHINGTON The government now says China did not lose its place in December as the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury debt.

The Treasury Department said that under annual benchmark revisions released yesterday, China's holdings of U.S. Treasury securities stood at $894.8 billion at the end of December, keeping it in first place ahead of Japan.

On Feb. 16, the government reported data that showed China had been surpassed by Japan. However, the government said in the new report that those figures did not account for purchases by Chinese investors in such places as Britain.