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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 6, 2010

BUSINESS BRIEFS
18% drop in government borrowing predicted


Advertiser news reports

WASHINGTON The government's borrowing is expected to drop 18 percent this year after last year's record high.

That's because of higher tax revenue and less government spending as the economy has improved.

The Obama administration still expects this year's deficit to set another high: $1.56 trillion. Even if, as expected, that number declines a bit when the administration issues a revised estimate this summer, it isn't likely to drop below $1.4 trillion. That would match last year's record.

GM HIRES HYUNDAI'S HEAD OF MARKETING

NEW YORK General Motors Co. has hired the former head of marketing at Hyundai Motor America to lead its marketing efforts as it pushes to sell more Chevys, Cadillacs and trucks following its restructuring.

Joel Ewanick, 49, will take over as vice president of U.S. marketing from Susan Docherty starting May 24. Docherty had run both sales and marketing at GM, but saw her duties shrink to just marketing in March as top GM executives expressed dissatisfaction with advertising and marketing efforts. GM said yesterday it is still deciding what her new role will be.

PRUDENTIAL DELAYS $21B BOND SALE

LONDON British insurer Prudential PLC yesterday delayed a planned $21 billion rights issue, raising fears about the $35.5 billion takeover of Asia-based life insurer AIA Group.

The insurer had planned to detail yesterday the pricing of the cash call and of the acquisition it is intended to fund, but instead said it was continuing discussions with the Financial Services Authority about the terms of the deal, particularly the capital position of the enlarged group.

The announcement, coming amid turmoil in world stock markets, saw Prudential's shares close down 1.7 percent to $8.29 in London.

FCC TO DETAIL NEW INTERNET REGULATIONS

WASHINGTON Federal regulators plan to change the way they govern broadband services to ensure they can pursue their efforts to bring high-speed connections to all Americans and require phone and cable companies to treat all Internet traffic equally.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski today will lay out a roadmap for regulating broadband that has been anticipated since a federal court ruling last month cast doubt on the agency's authority over high-speed Internet access.

The FCC's new approach would change the way it defines broadband without imposing additional regulations.

Genachowski hopes to satisfy both Internet pro- viders that oppose any new regulations and public interest groups that have been calling on the commission to impose stricter rules.

Several public interest groups expressed cautious support.

Josh Silver, head of the group Free Press, said the agency appears to be "charting a path toward a sensible broadband policy framework that will protect consumers and promote universal access."

Phone and cable companies, however, appeared to be reserving judgment. Both Verizon Communications Inc. and the cable industry's lead trade group, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, said they could not comment until they get more details.

TRANSOCEAN INCOME DROPS 28 PERCENT

NEW YORK Trans- ocean Ltd., owner of the oil platform that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, said yesterday its net income tumbled 28 percent in the first three months of the year.

The company cited lower contract revenues for rigs that both drill in deeper waters and those that drill closer to shore.

The results do not include charges related to the Deepwater Horizon rig, which Transocean leased to BP PLC. It exploded on April 20 and sank about 41 miles off the Louisiana coast. The well ruptured and has been gushing an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil each day.