Business & Finance

Sanford Weill said he'll give up his post as chief executive of Citigroup at the end of the year, while staying on until 2006 as chairman of what he helped to build into the world's largest financial-services company. Longtime aide Charles Prince was named as his successor.

Boeing is poised to cut as many as 5,000 more jobs, the Chicago Tribune reported, with an announcement said to be imminent. The Tribune said the layoffs would come at Boeing's Seattle-area commercial-jet facilities. A company spokesman declined to comment for the report. The aerospace giant has almost completed 35,000 layoffs at the subsidiary, the result of an industrywide slump.

Midwest Airlines won't have to file for bankruptcy after all, after obtaining concessions from labor unions and from its 11 aircraft lessors, the troubled carrier said Wednesday. Midwest and a subsidiary serve a combined 37 cities and employ 2,800 workers.

Air Canada said it is exploring ways of raising more than a half-billion dollars in new investment to help it emerge from bankruptcy before year's end, perhaps with a boost from the Canadian government that would allow an increase in foreign ownership from 25 percent to 49 percent. Discussions with equity funds, investment companies, and other financial institutions are in progress, the carrier said. Since declaring bankruptcy April 1, Air Canada has renegotiated the labor contracts with its unions as well as many of the leases on its planes. It also is discussing with creditors the conversion of $3 billion worth of debt to equity in the company.

In a deal valued at $1.6 billion, cigarette giant BAT (British American Tobacco) will acquire Italy's state tobacco company, ETI SpA, the parties announced. ETI controls one-quarter of the Italian cigarette market, the second-largest among European Union member countries.

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