Riviera parent exec takes Fontainebleau job

Mark Lefever is resigning his position as chief financial officer of Riviera Holdings Corp. effective March 31 to take the same position with Fontainebleau Las Vegas.

Lefever, 43, has been CFO, treasurer and executive vice president of finance since joining Riviera Holdings in May 2006. The company owns the Riviera on the Strip.

He added the position of president of the Riviera Black Hawk in Colorado on May 15.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William Westerman will assume Lefever’s duties while Riviera Holdings searches for his replacement.

The $2.9 billion Fontainebleau Las Vegas is under construction and scheduled to open in late 2009 on the north Strip.


Oil futures slide as dollar shows strength

Oil futures extended their declines Thursday as concerns about the economy and demand for oil grew and the dollar strengthened.

Retail gasoline prices, meanwhile, fell further below their recent records, while diesel rose to a record above $4 a gallon.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery fell 70 cents to settle at $101.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday after sliding to as low as $98.65 earlier. It was the first dip by a front-month oil contract under $100 since March 5. On Wednesday, the expiring April contract fell $4.94 a barrel to settle at $104.48.

Oil has fallen sharply this week, dropping about 9 percent, since setting a trading record of $111.80 on Monday.


Investment banks work to secure loans

Big Wall Street investment companies are taking advantage of the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented offer to secure emergency loans, the central bank reported Thursday.

Those large firms averaged $13.4 billion in daily borrowing over the past week from the new lending facility. The report does not identify the borrowers.

The Fed, in a meeting on Sunday, agreed for the first time to let big investment houses get emergency loans directly from the central bank.

Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros. and Morgan Stanley said Wednesday they had begun to test the Fed’s new lending mechanism.


Massachusetts plan for casinos dead for now

Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposal to license three resort-style casinos in Massachusetts is dead — at least for this year.

After an impassioned, six-hour debate, the House of Representatives voted 106-48 to send the bill to a study committee, effectively defeating it and ensuring it could not come back up for debate until next year at the earliest.

The defeat came despite a series of last-ditch efforts by supporters to salvage the gambling proposal, but House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi and his fellow opponents repeatedly blocked delays in the final vote or efforts to reshape the measure with amendments.

The legislation called for licensing three casinos in different regions of Massachusetts, which the governor said would create $600 million in licensing fees, $400 million in annual tax revenues and 20,000 permanent jobs. DiMasi argued expanded gambling would sap revenues from other businesses and increase social ills.

IDB Holding will raise stake in LV projects

IDB Holding Ltd. of Israel plans to raise its stake in Las Vegas real-estate projects to as much as $240 million.

The Tel Aviv-based holding company, which invests in real estate, telecommunications and retail companies, said in an e-mailed statement that its board gave preliminary approval Wednesday to increase the U.S. holdings.

The investment is being made by IDB and its Property & Building Corp., an Israeli real-estate developer that is building Las Vegas projects that include the Village at Queensridge office and shopping center.


Treasury prices rise amid economic news

Long-term Treasury prices closed higher Thursday after investors digested a series of uneven economic reports that on balance suggested more interest rate cuts could be in the offing.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 0.09 points to 101.38 with a yield of 3.34 percent, down from 3.41 percent late Wednesday.

U.S. financial markets will be closed today for Good Friday.

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