- - Sunday, October 21, 2012

U.S. sales of previously occupied homes fell in September after hitting a two-year high in August, in part because there were fewer homes available for sale.

The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales dipped 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75 million. That’s down from a rate of 4.83 million in August, the highest rate in more than two years.

Sales are still up 11 percent from a year earlier. They remain below the more than 5.5 million that economists consider consistent with a healthy market.


Cablevision, AMC reach deal with Dish Network

NEW YORK — Cablevision Systems Corp. and AMC Networks say they reached a settlement with Dish Network related to Voom HD Holdings.

As part of the settlement, Dish Network will pay $700 million in cash to Cablevision and AMC Networks, $80 million of which is in consideration for the purchase of Cablevision’s multichannel video- and data-distribution services licenses in 45 metropolitan areas in the U.S.

It also stipulates that Dish enter into a long-term distribution agreement with AMC Networks to carry AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and We TV and with the Madison Square Garden Co. to carry Fuse on it satellite service.

Cablevision had sued Dish for more than $2.5 billion in damages for cutting short a deal to carry AMC’s Voom TV service.


BP swaps Russia stakes to cut troublesome ties

LONDON — The board of U.K. energy company BP PLC has struck a deal to swap its troublesome Russian oil venture TNK-BP for a big stake in Rosneft, the Kremlin-controlled energy company, a person familiar with the matter said Sunday.

The person said that the sale of BP’s half of TNK-BP was expected to net the company between $10 billion to $15 billion in cash as well as a 15 percent to 20 percent stake in Rosneft, Russia’s largest producer of oil. The person, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the ranges were approximate because the parameters of the deal were still being worked out.

Such a deal would allow BP to exit its contentious partnership with the consortium of billionaires that controls the other half of TNK-BP while keeping a presence in Russia, a country responsible for producing nearly 10 million barrels of crude every day.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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