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Business

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Briefs

US bank scraps China bank stake

Bank of America sold a $1.47 billion stake in China Construction Bank, the latest foreign institution to shed its investment in a Chinese lender after initial optimism about the potentially lucrative market wore off.

The U.S. bank last week sold 2 billion shares, or 1 percent, of China Construction Bank Corp., one of China’s four major state-owned commercial lenders, for 73.5 cents each. The shares were the last of its stake in the Beijing lender.

Over the past decade, Bank of America Corp. and other Western banks bought stakes in China’s major state-owned commercial lenders ahead of their initial public offerings.

Bank of America, based in Charlotte, N.C., bought 9 percent of the Chinese bank in 2005 for $3 billion but in recent years has progressively reduced its stake.

UAW confirms talks over Tennessee plant

The United Auto Workers union confirmed that it’s in talks with Volkswagen about representing workers in a factory in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The union said Friday its representatives met with VW officials in late August in Wolfsburg, Germany, to discuss a German-style “works council” at the plant as well as full UAW representation. A works council would give workers a say in plant operations.

Currently, only one U.S. plant owned by foreign automakers has UAW representation, a Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Ill., with about 1,000 workers. The union has been trying for years to organize other plants, which mainly are in Southern states.

Any union representation would require a vote of the plant’s roughly 2,000 full-time blue-collar workers.

US security panel OKs proposed Smithfield sale

Smithfield Foods Inc. says that a U.S. committee that reviews mergers between American companies and those overseas has given clearance to the pork producer’s proposed sale to a Chinese company.

Smithfield said Friday that the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States gave clearance to its proposed sale to Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd.

The committee reviews overseas transactions for national-security implications.

Smithfield also says the proposed buyout received clearance from the Ukraine government.

Hong Kong-based Shuanghui agreed to in May to buy Smithfield in a deal valued at $7.1 billion, including debt.

Smithfield shareholders are scheduled to vote on the transaction on Sept. 24.

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