IN BRIEF

Las Vegas Sands cuts Venetian Macau staff

Las Vegas Sands Corp. says it has cut 500 casino workers at its Venetian Macau casino in China and wants to trim 1,000 others’ schedules.

The Las Vegas-based casino operator said Tuesday that none of the laid-off employees lived in the Chinese gambling enclave and 100 were managers. The cuts represent 2 percent of Sands’ Macau employees.

Sands says most of those laid off have been offered similar jobs to be created at its $2.7 billion Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, scheduled to open at the end of 2009. The jobs are subject to government approval.

Under a proposal sent to Chinese authorities, Las Vegas Sands also wants to cut 1,000 workers’ weekly hours to 40 from 48 and, for those who receive tips, take away that pay while raising their base salaries.

NV Energy warns of telephone scam

NV Energy on Tuesday warned that impostors are calling customers and demanding payment by credit card to prevent disconnection of power.

“We do not call customers and tell them their service will be disconnected unless they provide a credit card number,” Bruce Bullock, customer service executive said.

“These impostors are obviously looking for a way to steal someone’s credit information,” Bullock added.

NV Energy advised power users who receive such calls to report them to local police. Users who unwittingly have given credit card numbers should alert their credit card companies, the utility said.

Power users with questions about their accounts can call NV Energy’s customer service line at 800-331-3103.

NEW YORK

American Express gets OK to obtain capital

American Express Co. said Tuesday it received preliminary approval to obtain $3.39 billion in capital as part of the government’s $700 billion bank investment program.

Primarily a credit card lender, American Express changed its structure to become a bank holding company last month. The change in status allows American Express to tap a wide array of government funding and lending programs, including the bank investment program.

Other major financial firms have been becoming bank holding companies to access federal lending programs, such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and CIT Group Inc.

NEW YORK

Treasury auctions debt; 10-year prices stay put

The Treasury Department auctioned off more debt at record-low yields Tuesday, proving that investors remain hungry for Treasurys as the year draws to a close.

The 10-year Treasury note was flat at 113.88, and its yield rose to 2.16 percent from 2.14 percent.

The 30-year Treasury bond rose 0.84 points to 137.81, and its yield edged lower to 2.64 percent from 2.67 percent.

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