Business & Finance

Bank of America signed an agreement to buy a 9 percent stake in state-owned China Construction Bank for $3 billion, the largest single purchase of stock in a Chinese bank by a foreign financial institution. The deal allows for ownership to be increased up to 19.9 percent over the next 5 1/2 years, Bank of America said in announcing the purchase Friday. China limits foreign investment in its big state-owned banks to a maximum of 20 percent for any single institution, and total foreign holdings are capped at 25 percent. Bank of America is based in Charlotte, N.C.

Two feuding brothers at the head of India's most powerful business family, the Reliance Group, have reached a settlement splitting the dynasty's businesses between them, their mother announced Saturday. The petroleum and petrochemicals business of the flagship Reliance Industries Ltd. and IPCL Ltd., will go to Mukesh Ambani, the elder brother and the group's chairman, Kokilaben Ambani said in a statement. Younger brother Anil Ambani's share will include telecom, financial services, and the electricity business, led by power utility Reliance Energy Ltd. Reliance Industries Ltd. is worth 12 percent of the Sensex, the benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Varig, Brazil's debt-laden flagship airline, filed for bank ruptcy protection late last week to keep a restructuring plan on track and prevent 11 of its 82 jetliners from being seized by a division of American International Group Inc. Varig had faced a Friday deadline to pay overdue leasing bills. The filing allows the carrier, which is working on an alliance with Portugal's state-owned airline, to keep using the jets while working out a rescue plan with creditors.

Carlson Companies Inc., which owns Radisson Hotels and the T.G.I. Friday's restaurant chain, will hire IBM Corp. to perform some of its internal finance and technology duties, resulting in the loss of up to 525 jobs at the privately held company, which is based in Minnetonka, Minn. Carlson said it expects about 125 of those employees to transfer to IBM to do Carlson-related work.

Brunswick Corp., which has been in the bowling business since the late 1800s, said late last week that it will stop manufacturing bowling balls in the US and move production to a new plant in Reynosa, Mexico, resulting in 115 layoffs at its plant in Muskegon, Mich.

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