Business & Finance

A week later than predicted, the International Monetary Fund announced a new $8 billion loan offer to help rescue Argentina from deep financial crisis. The package brings to $22 billion the total IMF aid to the Buenos Aires government and is expected to avert a short-term default on its $129 billion foreign debt.

As expected, America Online announced it would lay off another 1,200 employees. It was the second wave of cuts since the company's merger with Time Warner closed in January, bringing the total to more than 2,000. An additional 500 jobs will be cut at iPlanet, a softwaremaker that AOL co-owns with Sun Microsystems.

Finova Group, a commercial lender to small and midsize businesses, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, winning federal court approval for its reorganization plan. At the center of the deal is a $5.6 billion loan from Berkadia LLC, a partnership formed by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Leucadia National Corp. Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Finova said it will use the loan to pay creditors 70 cents on the dollar and full interest.

NextWave Telecom Inc. will receive $2.5 billion in new loans to build its US wireless network if it wins its next court battle, reports said. The bankrupt Hawthorne, N.Y., company has been fighting to keep control of valuable third-generation mobile-phone licenses, which the Federal Communications Commission confiscated and sold to competitors after NextWave filed for bankruptcy in 1998. The FCC is appealing a federal judge's ruling that the licenses were protected under bankruptcy law and shouldn't have been resold. UBS Warburg pledged the new financing, the reports said. Another investment of $300 million was promised earlier this month by Qualcomm.

Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn, Stephanie Cook, and Matthew

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