Business & Finance

In a deal worth $2 billion, Credit Suisse First Boston will sell its Pershing clearing unit to the Bank of New York. The sale comes after months of business reversals that have forced CSFB's parent, Credit Suisse, to consider sales of noncore businesses to fortify its capital base, The Financial Times reported. Headquartered in Jersey City, N.J., Pershing has approximately 4,000 employees at 13 locations in the US, Europe, and Asia. It has a client base of more than 850 broker-dealers and investment managers, and supports about 100,000 investment professional at these firms.

The International Monetary Fund expects economic growth worldwide to recover to 3.7 percent this year, with Asia performing even better. However, higher oil prices, terrorist attacks, and weakness in Japan could foil the global rebound, according to IMF spokesman Thomas C. Dawson. "Our bottom-line, summary view is that we remain cautiously optimistic about the global economy but that our emphasis at the moment is on caution," he said.

IBM Corp., which has pushed its own technology outsourcing business for years, made an about-face by hiring contractors for some of its own assembly work. IBM will pay $3.6 billion to assembly contractor Sanmina-SCI Corp. and $120 million to Solectron Corp. to manufacture or refurbish IBM desktop computers and low-end servers. As part of the deal, about 1,300 IBM employees whose jobs will be cut will get job offers from the two companies.

As many as 20,000 General Electric Co. workers will stage a two-day national strike next week to protest an increase in healthcare copayments, GE and union officials said. The employees, who work at plants that build appliances, power turbines, and jet engines, will strike Jan. 14 and 15. It would be the first national strike at GE since 1969. GE's average healthcare cost per employee is expected to be $2,350 higher in 2003 than in 1999, GE said.

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