Business news in brief

Chrysler will start selling a new midsize car during the first quarter of next year, company executives said. It will replace the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. It will be built at a factory in Sterling Heights, north of Detroit, where the 200 and Avenger are now built. A covered vehicle sits in part of the new paint shop there.
Chrysler will start selling a new midsize car during the first quarter of next year, company executives said. It will replace the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. It will be built at a factory in Sterling Heights, north of Detroit, where the 200 and Avenger are now built. A covered vehicle sits in part of the new paint shop there. (PAUL SANCYA / AP)
Posted: July 17, 2013

In the Region

June revenue up at Pa. casino tables

Pennsylvania's 11 casinos generated $59.5 million in table games revenue in June, up 4.2 percent from a year ago. Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, with 183 tables, was the leader at $16.9 million; second place was Parx Casino in Bensalem with 166 tables, which grossed $9.1 million. Two other Philadelphia-area casinos rounded out the top four - SugarHouse placed third at $6.7 million from 58 tables, and Harrah's Philadelphia grossed $6.3 million from 121. For the fiscal year ending June 30, total table-games revenue at the state's gambling houses was $713.1 million, an increase of 7.4 percent from the previous fiscal year's total of $663.9 million. - Suzette Parmley

Suburban DoubleTree hotel sold

Hotel and office-property owner Arden Group, of Philadelphia, said it bought the 253-room DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Philadelphia West, in Plymouth Meeting, from an affiliate of LNR Property L.L.C. in a deal valued at $40 million, including $6 million that Arden said it would put into renovations. The hotel is the fourth acquired by Arden in the last nine months, according to chief executive Craig A. Spencer. Hostmark Hospitality Group, of Schaumburg, Ill., will manage the hotel, Arden said. - Reid Kanaley

Ex-Obama lawyer is NBC counsel

NBCUniveral appointed Kimberly Harris, a partner at Davis, Polk & Wardell and former deputy counsel to President Obama, as general counsel and executive vice president. She reports to NBCUniversal head Steve Burke and replaces Rick Cotton, who will assume the position of senior counselor over antipiracy and intellectual protection. NBCUniversal is owed by Philadephia-based Comcast Corp. - Bob Fernandez

Del. says refinery can ship oil to N.J.

A Delaware state panel has voted to dismiss an appeal by environmental groups of a permit granted by regulators for a new crude oil transfer operation at the Delaware City refinery. Members of Delaware's Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board voted unanimously to dismiss the appeal by the Sierra Club and the Delaware Audubon Society, ruling that they had no standing to challenge an air quality permit granted to PBF Energy in May. Environmentalists argued that the crude oil transfer operation was not allowed under Delaware's Coastal Zone Act, a 42-year-old law designed to protect the state's coastal environment from industrial pollution. The permit involves the transfer of crude oil received by train at a new rail facility to barges for shipment to another PBF refinery in Paulsboro. - AP

FDA cancels meeting on Merck drug

Drugmaker Merck & Co. said the Food and Drug Administration has canceled a Thursday meeting to review its drug designed to help patients "wake up" after surgery involving anesthesia. The company said in a statement that the FDA wants more time to assess the drug, called sugammadex. The announcement is the latest in a series of regulatory setbacks for the drug, which is approved for use in Europe but was rejected by the FDA in 2008 due to allergic reactions and bleeding among some patients. - AP

Elsewhere

Yahoo revenue disappoints

Yahoo Inc.'s second-quarter results aren't giving Marissa Mayer a lot to celebrate as she completes her first year running the Internet company. The numbers, released after the stock market closed, show Yahoo's earnings climbed 46 percent, thanks to a major boost from an investment in Chinese Internet company Alibaba. But revenue fell 7 percent from last year, reflecting Yahoo's difficulties selling more digital advertising as marketers increase their spending at rivals Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. Yahoo earned $331 million, or 30 cents per share, in the three months ending in June. That compared with net income of $227 million, or 18 cents per share, at the same time last year. Revenue totaled $1.14 billion. Shares declined in after-hours trading. - AP

Gambling device makers combine

Bally Technologies Inc. is buying SHFL Entertainment Inc. for about $1.31 billion in cash. Bally, originally founded as a pinball machine maker, started making slot machines in 1936. It now makes technology-based gambling devices and systems. The company also provides casinos with a variety of data management software applications and tools. SHFL, known for its automatic card shufflers, makes a variety of casino equipment, along with proprietary table, electronic table and online games. - AP

McDonald's to open in Vietnam

McDonald's Corp. will open its first restaurant in Vietnam next year, taking on earlier entrants such as Yum Brands Inc. as it seeks to profit from the country's growing middle class. Henry Nguyen, founder of Good Day Hospitality and managing partner of IDG Ventures Vietnam, was awarded the license to operate McDonald's in the country, the company said in a statement. Nguyen, who oversees $100 million invested in technology, media, telecommunications and consumer companies in Vietnam, is the son-in-law of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. - Bloomberg News

GM closing on sales gap with Toyota

G eneral Motors Co.'s global sales grew almost 4 percent in the first half of the year, enough to fend off Volkswagen AG for second place and perhaps close the gap with sales leader Toyota Motor Corp. GM said it sold 4.85 million cars and trucks worldwide from January through June. That puts GM on pace for sales of around 9.7 million for the year. The Detroit automaker sold 9.3 million cars and trucks last year, about 450,000 less than Toyota. GM may have gained some ground on its Japanese rival this year by growing faster in the United States, the world's second-biggest car market. - AP

Chevron in $1.24B Argentine deal

Argentina's state-controlled YPF oil company has persuaded Chevron Corp. to sign a long-sought deal to invest $1.24 billion developing the South American country's shale oil deposits. The joint venture adds up to $1.5 billion overall, the first major foreign oil investment in Argentina since President Cristina Fernandez seized control of YPF from Spain's Grupo Repsol last year. YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio and Chevron CEO John Watson presented it Tuesday to the president, who granted special privileges to any oil company investing more than a billion dollars in new shale ventures. - AP

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