BUSINESS BRIEFS

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NationGenzyme cuts 392 jobs CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Biotechnology company Genzyme Corp. said Friday it cut 392 positions to start the first phase of a plan to eliminate 1,000 by the end of next year. the Cambridge, Mass., company said it cut both filled and unfilled jobs at several sites and told affected employees on Thursday. the company said on its website it employs more than 12,000 people worldwide. Genzyme said the cuts are part of a larger plan announced last may to reduce costs. they exclude positions in its genetic testing and diagnostic products and pharmaceutical intermediates business units.

Mercedes SUVs recalled WASHINGTON — Daimler AG says it will recall about 2,300 Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicles and sedans to fix leaking fuel filters that could deposit diesel fuel on the road. the recall covers certain diesel versions of the 2011 E Class sedan and 2011 GL Class, M Class and R Class SUVs and crossover vehicles. the automaker says a lack of lubrication in the diesel engine fuel filters could cause the filter to leak. Diesel fuel could be leaked onto the road, causing slippery conditions and a potential crash. Owners will be notified later this month.Oil Rig numbers rise by 11 HOUSTON — the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 11 this week to 1,683. Houston-based Baker Hughes inc. said Friday that 955 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 718 for oil. ten were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week, the rig count stood at 1,078. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, New Mexico gained six rigs, Texas gained four, Wyoming gained three, Alaska gained two and Arkansas, California and Louisiana each gained one. Oklahoma lost five rigs, and Pennsylvania lost two. Colorado, North Dakota and West Virginia remained unchanged.Banks warn of impending losses NEW YORK — Large U.S. banks are saying they could face rising costs related to litigation related to mortgage loans. in regulatory filings Friday, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup inc., and Wells Fargo & Co. warned that they are being sued by investors which could lead to losses. the foreclosure crisis has heated up in recent weeks as BofA, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and GMAC Mortgage halted foreclosures after evidence emerged of improper paperwork on foreclosure documents. Many of the the foreclosures stem from sub-prime mortgages issued during the real estate bubble. Many large investors who bought the mortgage-backed securities are suing banks, saying that the banks didn’t conform to underwriting standards when they wrote the mortgages. Those investors are now trying force the banks to buy those investments back. the lawsuits have worried investors because of the still unknown amount of costs that will be involved for the banks as they defend the lawsuits.Plane engine makers sue rival WASHINGTON — Jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney is raising the stakes in a dispute with rival Rolls-Royce by seeking to stop shipments of Rolls-Royce engines for Boeing’s next passenger jetliner, shown above. Pratt & Whitney said Friday it filed patent-infringement complaints against the British company at the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.K. High Court. the dispute centers on who owns the designs for fan blades used in modern commercial airliners. Rolls-Royce is competing with General Electric Co. to build engines for Boeing’s new 787, which is made of lighter composite materials and designed to be fuel-efficient. the plane is in the final stages of testing. Boeing had planned to begin delivering the plane, but Aviation Week reported Friday that Boeing has told customers to expect a delay of up to 10 months. Pratt & Whitney’s patent-infringement challenge also covers another Rolls-Royce engine that is used in the giant Airbus A380 jetliner.Harrah’s seeks $469M from IPO NEW YORK — Harrah’s Entertainment inc., the world’s biggest casino operator, is starting an initial public offering of about 31.3 million shares. the move, which Harrahs’ announced in a regulatory filing last month, will take the company public again three years after two buyout firms took it private in a $30.7 billion deal that pushed it billions of dollars into debt. Harrah’s said Friday that the stock will be priced between $15 and $17 per share, raising $469 million or more. All of the shares are being sold by the company. Harrah’s plans to use the proceeds to fund some growth projects and for general corporate purposes.Earnings Berkshire HathawayOMAHA, Neb. — Warren Buffett’s company posted an 8 percent drop in third-quarter net income as the value of its derivatives portfolio fell sharply, but BNSF railroad and Berkshire Hathaway’s many other operating companies performed well. the Omaha, Neb.-based company said Friday it earned nearly $3 billion, or $1,814 per Class A share, during the quarter. That’s down from $3.24 billion, or $2,087 per share, last year. the biggest factor in the decline was a $95 million loss on Berkshire’s derivatives, some of which are tied to equity markets and credit defaults. A year ago, those derivatives were worth $1.1 billion. Excluding that loss, Berkshire earned $1,692 per share — exceeding the $1,676 per share estimated by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.From wire reports News Photo Galleriesview all

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