Business & Finance

In an about-face, banking giant Goldman Sachs announced it will build its $2 billion headquarters near Ground Zero in New York, the site of the former World Trade Center, after all. Earlier this year, the company said it did not want the location because of security concerns and a proposed underground tunnel that would have brought vehicular traffic past its front entrance. But the tunnel plan ultimately was dropped and Goldman Sachs was granted more than $100 million in incentives by the state and the city to remain in downtown Manhattan. Construction for the new 43-story headquarters is expected to begin later this year, the company said. When ready for occupancy in 2009, it will bring together roughly 9,000 employees who currently are scattered among numerous Manhattan office buildings.

For the first time in four years, the Nikkei stock index closed above 12,500 in Tokyo Wednesday, buoyed by speculation that Japan's economy is on course to full recovery. The index, one of the world's most widely watched, finished up 29.33 points to end the session at 12,502, its best close since July 4, 2001. Experts said the rally was fueled by foreigners, in particular by buying banking stocks. One day after announcing the schedule for repaying billions of dollars in government bailout funds, Mizuho Financial Group's share price rose 4.6 percent to set a company record.

Temasek Holdings, a leading equity fund, said it would not comment on a published report that it plans to double investment in China Construction Bank (CCB) to $2.4 billion. Last month, the huge Singapore government-owned fund agreed to buy $1 billion worth of CCB shares in an initial public offering, plus additional shares of existing stock. Combined, those purchases give Temasek a 5 percent stake in CCB, China's third-largest financial institution. Citing sources familiar with the matter, said Temasek wants to increase investment overseas because of the slow growth of Singapore's economy.

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