Business & Finance

Adding to Enron's growing legal woes, the financial powerhouse J.P. Morgan Chase filed a $2.1 billion lawsuit to protect some of its investments. The suit claims rights to such assets as accounts receivable, cash, and other property, alleging that information about them has been withheld since the company's collapse. J.P. Morgan, until now an ally despite the energy trader's bankruptcy, has hundreds of millions of dollars invested in Enron in both secured and unsecured loans.

Washington Mutual Inc., the US's largest savings & loan group, said it will buy most of the assets of HomeSide Lending for about $1.9 billion. HomeSide is the mortgage-loan unit of National Australia Bank (NAB), which has been seeking to unload it because of the cost of servicing mortgages amid falling interest rates in the US. In June, Seattle-based Washington Mutual agreed to pay $5 billion for New York mortgage lender Dime Bancorp.

As many as 30,000 more jobs are to be cut by the money-losing British postal service, Consignia, its chief executive told Parliament. The state-owned company, known until last March as The Post Office, has lost a reported $143 million this year and says only its express package-delivery service is profitable. Earlier this year, Consignia laid off about 10,000 workers.

Up to 6,000 more employees will be laid off by American Express, the company said in a decision blamed on the slump in travel since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The cuts come on top of 7,700 announced earlier this year.

International Computers Ltd., one of the world's leading providers of information technology and e-commerce services,said it will lay off 1,500 employees. The company is based in Slough, England, but is owned by Fujitsu, the Japanese electronics giant.

Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn and Steven Savides

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