- The Washington Times - Monday, February 18, 2008

National

Providence Equity Partners said it was “surprised and disappointed” by a lawsuit filed Friday by Clear Channel Communications Inc. to force the private-equity firm to close a purchase of Clear Channel’s television stations. Clear Channel said that Providence has delayed action on the $1.2 billion deal, which Providence has sought since October to renegotiate.

• The vacancy rate for retail real estate in Chicago’s Loop increased last year, halting a two-year drop, mostly because of 200,000 square feet of new space, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. The rate climbed to 14.9 percent from 14.6 percent in 2006. New development in the Loop, Chicago’s downtown business, cultural and residential district, increased the amount of space on the market 6 percent.

Toshiba Corp. is highly likely to exit the high-definition DVD business early this week, the Wall Street Journal reported. The move would follow Warner Bros.’ decision last month to support Sony Corp.’s competing format, Blu-ray, which fueled sales of the product, the newspaper reported on its Web site.

International

IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG, wracked by losses from the U.S. subprime-mortgage crisis, will sell $2.2 billion in shares as part of a government-sponsored bailout, provided its shareholders agree to the move. IKB said that KfW Group, the state-owned bank that controls it, had pledged that at least $1.8 billion from the offer would go to IKB.

Mexico has struck a deal with Cuba on restructuring a $400 million debt owed by the communist island nation, banking officials said. “The signing of an agreement to restructure the debt … is a major step toward the normalization of commercial and financial relations between both countries,” according to a statement by the Banco de Comercio Exterior de Mexico.

Iran established its first oil products bourse in a free-trade zone on the Persian Gulf Island of Kish, the country’s oil ministry said. The ministry said 100 tons of polyethylene consignment was traded at the market’s opening on the island, which houses the offices of about 100 Iranian and foreign oil companies.

Qatar is accumulating shares in Credit Suisse Group and plans to spend as much as $15 billion on European and U.S. bank stocks over the next year, the Gulf state’s prime minister said.

Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. and Tata Advanced Systems of India agreed to form a joint venture in India to make missiles, pilotless drones, electronic warfare technology and other defense equipment. India is strengthening its forces as China develops its own fighter planes and Pakistan buys aircraft from the United States.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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