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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, January 20, 2010

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Citigroup reports $7.77 billion 4Q loss, citing failed loans, bailout repay

Advertiser Staff and News Services

NEW YORK Citigroup Inc. became the latest bank to take a cautious view of consumers' credit problems, reporting a $7.77 billion fourth-quarter loss due to failed loans and the costs of repaying $20 billion in government bailout money.

Even with the loss, Citigroup, the hardest hit of the big U.S. banks during the credit crisis and recession, plans to give big bonuses this month to its top employees.

The earnings report yesterday, which met analysts' expectations, reflected Citigroup's struggles and changing status in the banking industry.

GOOGLE DELAYS 2 CHINA PHONE DEALS

BEIJING Google yesterday postponed the launch of two mobile phones in China, adding to the potential commercial fallout of its dispute with Beijing over Internet censorship and e-mail hacking.

The delay affects separate phones made by Motorola and Samsung. The handsets are both powered by Android, a mobile operating system developed by Google. Both phones were scheduled to debut this week, with China Unicom Ltd. serving as the carrier.

The change in plans is the latest aftershock from Google's threat to close its Internet search engine and pull out of China unless the government relents on its rules requiring the censorship of content that the ruling party considers to be subversive.

FED CHIEF ASKS FOR PROBE OF AIG MOVE

WASHINGTON Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke took the unusual step yesterday of asking Congress' investigative arm to conduct a "full review" of the Fed's role in bailing out insurance giant American International Group.

The Fed chief's move is aimed at defusing criticism of the government's $182 billion rescue. The bailout sparked public outrage and demands in Congress for more information, especially after it was revealed that millions in bonuses would go to employees in the AIG division most responsible for the company's need for a bailout.

CADBURY RELENTS, ACCEPTS KRAFT BID

LONDON After months of fierce resistance, Cadbury's about-face to accept a sweetened $19.5 billion takeover from Kraft Foods Inc. forming the world's biggest candy company has alarmed British unions, lawmakers and chocolate lovers.

With Cadbury shareholders expected to agree to the deal and a rival bid from The Hershey Co. looking less likely, opponents fear the U.S. multinational's impact on one of Britain's oldest and best-loved brands.

Just days after Cadbury declared its suitor a "low- growth" company with a "long history of underperformance," the British maker of Dairy Milk chocolates and Dentyne gum capitulated to a raised bid of $13.78 per share.