Alexa

In Brief

In Brief

AIG close to selling Japan headquarters
Embattled insurer American International Group Inc. is close to selling its Japanese headquarters for around US$1 billion to help pay off its debt to Washington, the Wall Street Journal said yesterday. The 15-story building will likely be purchased by a Japanese insurance company, though the timing is unclear because of this week's "Golden Week" holidays, the paper said citing unnamed sources. Financial markets are closed through tomorrow. The deal would be among the biggest divestitures New York-based AIG has made to reimburse the U.S. government for its massive infusion of aid, according to the Wall Street Journal. Although the building is 35 years old, it sits on prime real estate in central Tokyo, next to the Imperial Palace. AIG's roots in Japan extend back to 1946, and the company is now the country's biggest foreign casualty insurer.
China Eastern
China Eastern Airlines said yesterday it had agreed to sell two Airbus A340 jets for 590 million yuan (US$86 million) to improve its cash flow, but added it would lease the planes back. The nation's third largest carrier by fleet size said it sold the two planes to China's Bank of Communications Financial Leasing Co Ltd, in a statement filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange. China Eastern said last month it hoped to receive more financial support from Beijing after receiving seven billion yuan in aid, but that the government had not yet made any commitments. The airline said it intended to channel the proceeds from the sale of the aircraft into its operations. It will pay about 17 million yuan for each aircraft per quarter to lease them back over the next five years, the carrier said.
Car sales drop
New car registrations in Spain fell 45.6 percent in April from the same time last year, the 12th straight monthly decline and the sharpest drop ever recorded for that month, industry data showed yesterday. A total of 67,215 vehicles were registered during the month, down from 123,561 during the year earlier, Spanish car manufacturers' association ANFAC said. During the first four months of the year new car registrations in Spain were down by 43.7 percent to 471,299 units when compared to the same period in 2008. Spain is the only one of Europe's five main auto markets that has not offered state incentives to encourage car sales.