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Nation and world business briefs for July 3

Business briefs for July 3
Oklahoman Published: July 3, 2012

Business briefs


Sunoco deal keeps refinery open

The oldest and largest refinery on the East Coast will stay open thanks to a deal between Sunoco and the private equity firm The Carlyle Group, with the groups announcing Monday that they have agreed to terms on a joint venture at the facility. The new venture also will make a substantial investment in the facility to help it import lower-cost oil from North Dakota's Bakken formation, shift to refining a higher proportion of ultra-low-sulfur diesel and use natural gas from the booming Marcellus Shale formation that lies below much of Pennsylvania, Carlyle officials said. The Philadelphia refinery, which had struggled to make money as the price of imported crude oil rose, was scheduled to close in August. In April, Sunoco announced that it had entered into “exclusive discussions” with Carlyle about a possible joint venture involving the 330,000-barrels-per-day facility, which has about 850 workers.

Rates on short-term T-bills mixed

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were mixed at Monday's auction with rates on three-month bills rising to the highest level since February while rates on six-month bills were unchanged. The Treasury Department auctioned $30 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.100 percent, up from 0.095 percent last week. Another $27 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.150 percent, unchanged from last week. The three-month rate was the highest since these bills averaged 0.115 percent on Feb. 27. The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,997.47 while a six-month bill sold for $9,992.42. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.101 percent for the three-month bills and 0.152 percent for the six-month bills. Separately the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, edged up to 0.21 percent last week from 0.19 percent the previous week.

Alaskans gobble up 6,000 tacos

It was free taco Sunday in Bethel, Alaska, and more than 6,000 of them were gobbled up. Flyers went up all over town last month saying a Taco Bell was coming to Bethel. The excitement quickly turned to disappointment when it was discovered that was a hoax. Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed said the company decided to right the wrong. It flew in the fixings for 10,000 made-to-order tacos at the city's cultural center. Creed called it a huge success that touched his employees and prompted a congratulatory phone call from U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Drugmaker is fined $3 billion

GlaxoSmithKline PLC will pay $3 billion and plead guilty to promoting two popular drugs for unapproved uses and to failing to disclose important safety information on a third in the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history, the Justice Department said Monday. Accompanying the criminal case was a civil settlement in which the government said the company's improper marketing included providing doctors with expensive resort vacations, European hunting trips, high-paid speaking tours and even tickets to a Madonna concert. The $3 billion combined fine will be the largest penalty ever paid by a drug company.

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