Business & Finance

United Airlines may be faced with further cost-cutting or securing stronger commitments from banks, analysts said, after the Air Transportation Stabilization Board unanimously rejected the bankrupt carrier's third and final application for a federal loan guarantee. Monday's decision probably will delay United's emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection until next year, the analysts said, although they noted that the airline has been filling more seats and delivering improved operational results in recent months, thereby enhancing its attractive- ness to potential investors in the private sector.

Shareholders of both companies OK'd the proposed $16.5 billion merger between Anthem Inc. and WellPoint Health Networks Inc. Monday. The deal would create the nation's largest health-management organization, with 28 million patients. But it still needs the approval of state regulators in California, where it has been criticized for benefiting WellPoint executives more than members. WellPoint is based in Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Anthem in Indianapolis.

Citigroup, the world's biggest financial-services company, appears to be the front-runner in acquiring New York Community Bancorp, a merger that could be announced as soon as Wednesday, CBS MarketWatch reported. It said sources close to the situation value the deal at about $6 billion. NYCB operates 141 branches in New York State and New Jersey.

Deeply troubled automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. won a pledge from its sister companies and other institutional investors to up their bailout by 17 percent, to $5 billion. Analysts said Japan's only unprofitable builder of cars needs the increased cash because of declining sales and the high number of recalls announced recently - developments for which company chief Yoichiro Okazaki apologized to shareholders in Tokyo Tuesday. Among those contributing to the bailout: Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi-Tokyo Financial Group, Nippon Oil Corp., and Taiwan's China Motor Corp.

In layoff news:

• Up to 1,300 jobs will be cut by Metso Corp., the world's largest builder of papermaking, road-paving, and rock-crushing machinery. The Helsinki, Finland, company said half of its target would be reached through outsourcing.

• Allegheny Technologies Inc. will cut 650 jobs over the next 2-1/2 years as it restructures its stainless steel plant in Brackenridge, Pa., the company announced Monday.

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