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Tickers: Dec. 29


General Growth Properties Inc., the owner of Jordan Creek Town Center, has signed forbearance agreements that will temporarily protect the company against loan defaults. Senior credit lenders agreed not to take action against General Growth until Jan. 30; in return, General Growth cannot allow any change in control or sale of assets, cannot incur debt and will not be able to buy subordinated debt without the lenders’ consent. Additionally, the holders of $900 million in matured mortgages agreed to waive non-payment until Feb. 12.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. and Cumming, Ga.-based MapShots Inc. today announced that Pioneer will acquire controlling ownership of MapShots, a privately owned agricultural data management company that develops and sells proprietary crop management software. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Citigroup Inc. announced today that it plans to inject $800 million of new capital into its South Korean banking arm, Citibank Korea, CNNMoney reported. It is expected that 60 percent of the injection will be used to issue new shares and the remaining 40 percent will be for subordinated debt. Last month, Citigroup announced it would eliminate 50,000 jobs before 2009 in order to cut costs.

Kuwait canceled its deal on Sunday to form a $17.4 billion petrochemical joint venture with Dow Chemical Co., the Associated Press reported. The cancellation of the deal was a major setback for Dow, which planned to use the money to repay a majority of its $13 billion debt associated with its acquisition of rival Rohm & Haas, which will be official in early 2009. Earlier this month, Dow said it would close 20 facilities, divest several businesses, eliminate 5,000 jobs and temporarily idle approximately 180 plants.

Oil prices surged above $40 a barrel before easing early today in response to Israeli air strikes that have been hammering the Gaza Strip for three days, CNNMoney reported. U.S. crude oil for February delivery was up $1.72 to $39.43 a barrel by 8:30 a.m. Iowa time, but not before touching a high of $42.20 earlier. Oil prices have fallen more than $100 a barrel since hitting a record high of $147.27 in July. Prices could end the year down 60 percent, which would be the biggest percentage drop on record.

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