Business & Finance

AT&T Wireless Services is considering plans to cut 3,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its workforce, and outsource them to companies with offices in India and other countries, The Wall Street Journal reported. While no major deals have been reached, the Journal said, the carrier could begin layoffs as soon as March. AT&T Wireless, based in Redmond, Wash., is the leading mobile-phone service provider in the US.

General Electric (GE) will spin off most of its life and mortgage insurance operations next year into a new company, Genworth Financial, the conglomerate announced Tuesday. GE also outlined plans to sell a 30 percent stake in the venture, which has a book value of $10 billion, at an initial public offering. GE is based in Fairfield, Conn.

Bankrupt Enron Corp. agreed to a $1.25 billion price tag for Northwestern utility Portland General Tuesday, bringing its total asset sales to about $9 billion. The buyer, holding company Oregon Electric Utility Co., also will assume $1.1 billion in debt and preferred stock. The deal must be approved by state and federal regulators, and a bankruptcy court.

Signaling approval of a $3.77 billion bailout for Alstom, shareholders in the deeply indebted French engineering giant OK'd a $353 million rights issue Tuesday and the sale of $1.41 billion in convertible bonds. The French government will purchase $353 million in Alstom bonds as part of a rescue plan reached in September to keep the builder of trains and cruise ships out of bankruptcy.

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