Business & Finance

Foreigners will get most of the 15,000 jobs that computer giant IBM Corp. has announced it's adding this year, The Wall Street Journal reported. An IBM spokesman said about 5,000 of the new hires will be in the US but acknowledged that the company also expects to shift 3,000 American jobs overseas. Internal documents, the newspaper said, indicate that thousands more could move to operations in India, China, and Brazil, starting in 2006. Salary and benefits for an experienced programmer in China cost IBM about $12.50 an hour, the paper said, versus $56 an hour in the US.

One of the world's leading newspaper chains was seeking to restore order after months of internal controversy turned tumultuous last weekend. Hollinger International of Toronto, owner of the Chicago Sun-Times, London's Daily and Sunday Telegraph, and the Jerusalem Post, among others, fired chairman Conrad Black and announced it was suing him and a top deputy. The company alleges that Lord Black and David Radler collected millions of dollars in unjustified management fees and tried to hide their actions by fudging accounts. Black wrote to Hollinger's board Sunday, disputing its authority to oust him. He also announced the sale of his Hollinger Inc. holding company, which controls Hollinger International, for $466 million to British entrepreneurs David and Frederick Barclay. But CBS MarketWatch reported Monday that the deal appeared certain to be blocked, since the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which is investigating Black for the alleged unauthorized payments, already had a court order to protect Hollinger International's assets in case of an ownership change.

Health-insurance giant Cigna Corp. plans more layoffs this year in a "painful" streamlining effort, chief executive H. Edward Hanway warned in an internal memo obtained by the Philadelphia Inquirer. The number of job cuts was not specified. Cigna, which is based in Philadelphia, dismissed two executives earlier as part of consolidating seven divisions into five, and, last November, sold its retirement-services unit to Prudential Financial. Membership in Cigna's group plans fell as much as 18 percent last year, according to company estimates, and plans covering another 40 percent of its 11 million members are up for renewal this year.

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