India’s Jet Airways suspending operations, no money to fly


Jet Airways, once India’s largest, suspends operations

Jet Airways, once India’s largest airline, announced on Wednesday that it is suspending all operations after failing to raise enough money to run its services. The company said it has been informed by its lenders, led by state-run State Bank of India, that they are unable to consider its request for funding to keep flying. Its last flight was scheduled to fly to New Delhi from the northern Indian city of Amritsar on Wednesday night. On Tuesday, its former chairman, Naresh Goyal, reportedly withdrew plans to bid for a controlling stake in the company. Goyal founded Jet Airways in 1992 and saw it soar to become India’s largest airline. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Airbnb leading investment round for luxury startup

Airbnb Inc. is leading a $160 million funding round for a small, luxury-rental apartment startup, the third investment in six weeks as it beefs up offerings ahead of a eventual stock market listing. San Francisco-based Lyric transforms premium apartments into studios with hotel-quality cleaning services and around-the-clock online support for business travelers looking for short-term visits or stays of as long as 200 days. With only 380 suites across the United States, Lyric may seem like an insignificant investment for a powerhouse like Airbnb. But its interest likely stems more from Lyric’s mission: to change the negative reputation of the short-term rental industry, especially in urban environments. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Hollywood writers sue agents

Hollywood’s writers are taking their battle against agents to court. The Writers Guild of America on Wednesday said it has filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court against the Big Four agencies of WME, CAA, ICM, and UTA. The suit alleged a breach of fiduciary duty under state law and unfair competition practices under federal law. The dispute stems from the writers’ objection to packaging fees, the practice by which agencies are paid by studios for bringing clients together on a project. The writers are also seeking to force agencies to divest of nascent production divisions, which they say represent a conflict of interest. The agencies maintain that these structures benefit all parties, including writers. — WASHINGTON POST



New regulations proposed for ‘opportunity zones’

The Trump administration on Wednesday proposed new regulations aimed at making it easier for investors to take advantage of tax breaks for investing in ‘‘Opportunity Zones’’ in low-income areas. The proposed regulations issued by the Treasury Department seek to clear up questions that were keeping some investors from using the tax incentives. President Trump, speaking at a White House conference to promote the program, said governors in all 50 states and US territories had designated 8,700 neighborhoods as Opportunity Zones, making these economically depressed areas eligible to be used for the federal tax incentives. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Mnuchin to hire Fox commentator as spokesman

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plans to hire Fox News commentator Monica Crowley as his top spokeswoman, according to people familiar with the matter, as he seeks to tout the GOP’s tax cuts and navigate Democrats’ demands for the president’s tax returns. Crowley will be assistant secretary for public affairs, replacing Tony Sayegh, who departs at the end of May after more than two years with Mnuchin, the people said. Crowley and a Treasury spokesman didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Trump planned to appoint Crowley to a position at the National Security Council in his White House, but she withdrew from consideration in January 2017 after CNN reported that she had plagiarized portions of her 2012 book and Politico reported that she had plagiarized portions of her 2000 Ph.D. thesis. Crowley said in a Fox News interview that the reports were a “political hit job.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Evian water looks to make inroads in the US

Danone is laying down a challenge in an already competitive US bottled water market as it seeks to bring more of France’s Evian to Americans. The French company’s bottled-water sales rose 3.9 percent in the first quarter, spurred by Evian’s performance in North America. To keep growth coming and help offset Danone’s sluggish yogurt business, Evian teamed up with Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. with a distribution agreement in October that’s helped put more of its bottles into US convenience stores. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


IBM shares drop after revenue for cloud computing, AI declines

IBM Corp. fell the most in six months after reporting a decline in revenue from the cloud-computing, artificial intelligence and cognitive software unit that the company is hanging its future on. Shares fell as much as 6 percent to $136.26 Wednesday morning, the biggest intraday decline since October, before recovering a bit to close down more than 4 percent at $139.11. The drop followed IBM reporting a 2 percent decline, to $5 billion, in sales from cloud and cognitive software, in the three months ended March 31. Cloud revenue alone grew 10 percent over the last 12 months, but that was a slower pace than the previous quarter. Revenue across all of IBM’s business units either fell or was little changed, according to a company statement Tuesday. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Same-sex couples more likely to be denied mortgages, study finds

Mortgage lenders are significantly more likely to deny same-sex couples a home loan and charge them more for it when they do, a new study has found. Gay couples were 73 percent more likely to be denied a mortgage than heterosexual couples with the same financial worthiness, according to an analysis of national mortgage data from 1990 to 2015. The study, published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also found that when same-sex couples were approved for a home loan, they were given inferior terms. On average, they paid .5 percent more in interest and fees, which collectively adds up to as much as $86 million a year, the researchers said in a news release. — WASHINGTON POST



Pepsi getting a boost from soda, chips

Call it the nostalgia factor: PepsiCo Inc. is getting a boost from some of its classic brands. The snack and beverage giant posted quarterly results that beat estimates, sending shares to the highest since at least 1980. The company’s sales growth was boosted by its key Frito-Lay operation and North American beverage unit, with its Pepsi soda line and Lay’s chips fueling the surge, according to chief financial officer Hugh Johnston. With fierce competition from rival Coca-Cola Co. and other companies, PepsiCo has boosted marketing in a bid to keep its brands top of mind with consumers. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Samsung’s new folding phones appear to have problems

Some of Samsung’s new $2,000 folding phones appear to be breaking after just a couple of days. Journalists who received the phones to review before the public launch say the Galaxy Fold screen started flickering and turning black before completely fizzling out. A couple of journalists say they removed a thin, protective layer from the screens that they thought was supposed to come off, but was meant to stay. But Dieter Bohn, executive editor of technology news site The Verge, says he left that layer on and his screen still broke. The long-anticipated folding phone goes on sale April 26 in the US for $1,980, making it one of the most expensive phones anywhere — particularly if it isn’t as durable as promised. Samsung did not immediately comment. — ASSOCIATED PRESS