Talking Points

TALKING POINTS

Christie nixes bill to raise New Jersey minimum wage to $15

LABOR

Christie vetoes minimum wage
hike in N.J.

Republican Governor Chris Christie on Tuesday shot down an attempt to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in the next year and to at least $15 over the next five. Christie announced his veto at an event at a market in Pennington, saying it would burden small businesses and describing the proposal as the ‘‘heavy hand of government.’’ Standing in the organic fruit and vegetable section of the market, Christie said raising wages is the job of business owners. State Senate President Steve Sweeney said he expects a constitutional amendment to increase the minimum wage could be on the ballot in 2017, when New Jersey voters choose Christie’s successor. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUTOMOTIVE

Chinese
state-owned company to build car factory
in South Africa

A Chinese state-owned car manufacturer agreed to build a $759 million auto plant in South Africa, the biggest investment in a vehicle-production facility in the country in four decades. The Beijing Automotive International Corp. plans to start production at the facility in 2018, International chief executive Dong Haiyang told reporters in the southern coast city of Port Elizabeth on Tuesday. The plant will be built in partnership with South Africa’s state-owned Industrial Development Corp. and have a capacity of 100,000 units a year by 2027, he said at the the industrial development zone where the factory will be located.
— BLOOMBERG NEWS

INDUSTRIAL

Head of GE’s finance unit
steps down as
it ends most lending operations

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The head of General Electric Co.’s finance unit will step down as the industrial giant exits most lending operations to concentrate on manufacturing. Keith Sherin, who also serves as vice chairman of the parent company, will retire at the end of December, GE said Tuesday in a statement. Richard Laxer, who runs GE Capital International, will take over as chief executive officer of GE Capital on Thursday, the company said. The move comes as GE winds down a plan to shrink its finance business while refocusing on manufacturing heavy-duty equipment such as gas turbines and jet engines. CEO Jeffrey Immelt said in April 2015 that the company would sell about $200 billion of lending assets while retaining only the units that support its industrial divisions. GE has said it expects to be substantially done with that process by the end of the year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

FINANCE

Banks’ earnings rise during second quarter

US banks’ earnings in the April-June period rose 1.4 percent from a year earlier as growth in lending fueled interest income. The data issued Tuesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. showed continued strength in the banking industry eight years after the financial crisis struck. However, the impact of low oil prices on energy companies led banks to continue to post bigger losses on commercial and industrial loans. The FDIC reported that US banks earned $43.6 billion in the second quarter, up from $43 billion a year earlier. It marks a record profit for the industry. About 60 percent of banks reported an increase in profit from a year earlier. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

AVIATION

United Airlines hires new president from American Airlines

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The decision by United Airlines to hire a new president away from American Airlines firms up the roster of executives who will contend with fare declines pushing the industry to its worst returns in five years. Scott Kirby (left), 49, will join United Continental Holdings Inc. immediately, reporting to chief executive Oscar Munoz and overseeing day-to-day functions from operations to network planning. At American Airlines Group, chief operating officer Robert Isom, 52, takes over as president. The sudden move fills a key void at United, providing a potential successor with deep airline roots to Munoz, 57, a former railroad executive. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

RETAIL

Abercrombie
plans to close more stores

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. tumbled the most in three years after slow sales at flagship locations weighed on its latest results and outlook, sparking concerns that its turnaround is sputtering. The loss in the second quarter was 25 cents a share, excluding some items, the New Albany, Ohio-based company said in a statement Tuesday. Analysts projected a loss of 20 cents, on average. The company also announced plans to close more stores, extending a push that has shrunk the chain’s US store base by a third in the past six years. The results show Abercrombie is struggling with dwindling mall traffic and a tourism slowdown that has hurt retailers that rely on large, flagship locations in major cities to drive sales. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

REAL ESTATE

Home prices
rise a bit in June

US home prices rose modestly in June, pushed up by strong sales and a limited supply of available properties. The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, increased 5.1 percent in June compared with a year ago. That’s down from a 5.3 percent annual gain in May and is the slowest year-over-year pace since last August. Home values are still soaring in the Northwest, but have slowed to more sustainable rates elsewhere. In Northeastern cities such as New York and Washington, D.C., they are rising at roughly the rate of inflation, and in Boston, less than 5 percent.
— ASSOCIATED PRESS

GAMBLING

Wynn Resorts’ new Macau casino opens amid a slump in gambling

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Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s $4.2 billion Macau resort is drawing lackluster numbers of new tourists and may be taking business from local rivals, said analysts who are tracking activity in the casino’s first few days. The part of the casino floor catering to mass market customers at the Wynn Palace “felt slow” relative to other recent openings, Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen said in a research note Monday. The Wynn Palace, the most expensive property yet from billionaire Steve Wynn, opened on Aug. 22 amid a slump in gambling in Macau. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

FAST FOOD

Chipotle to offer free kids’ meals
to lure back customers

Chipotle’s latest burrito giveaway is for children. The company is offering free kid’s meals on Sundays during the month of September, another attempt to lure back customers spooked by a series of food scares. An E. coli outbreak last year sent Chipotle sales plunging. In June, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. launched a three-month loyalty program that lets customers earn free meals based on the number of visits they make each month. On Monday, it announced that high school and college students could get a free soda or iced tea if they buy a meal and show ID. The chain has given away millions of free burritos this year. The Chipotle kid’s meals include burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and salads. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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