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Hanmi Financial plans purchase

Los Angeles-based Hanmi Financial Corp., the holding company for Hanmi Bank, announced Thursday it has agreed to purchase from Korea Exchange Bank nearly 1.2 million shares of Hanmi's common stock for about $20 million.

The purchase price of $17.20 per share is 95 percent of the average closing price of Hanmi's stock for five trading days.

The transaction is scheduled to close on Tuesday.

After the transaction, KEB will continue to own about 1.18 million shares of Hanmi's common stock.

KEB acquired its position in Hanmi Financial at the time of Hanmi's April 2004 acquisition of Pacific Union Bank, in which KEB was a shareholder.

Jobless benefits reach 4-year low

WASHINGTON - The number of people receiving unemployment benefits reached a four-year low last week, fresh evidence of a strengthening economy.

The number of laid-off workers receiving jobless benefits averaged 2.58 million over the four weeks ending last week, the lowest four-week average since March 2001, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

For just last week, the number of newly laid off workers applying for benefits fell by a better-than-expected 4,000 from the previous week to 315,000, the lowest level for new claims since the first week in August.

Analysts said both the drop in total benefits being paid and the decline in new benefit applications pointed to an economy that is continuing to create jobs.

Raycom will buy out Liberty Corp.

NEW YORK - Liberty Corp., owner of 15 TV stations in the South and Midwest, said Thursday that it agreed to be bought out by private broadcasting conglomerate Raycom Media Inc. for about $877 million in cash plus $110 million in assumed debt.

The price per share of $47.35 is a 26.4 percent premium over Liberty's closing price of $37.45 on the New York Stock Exchange. The deal is valued at a total of $987 million.

Montgomery, Ala.-based Raycom, operates 37 television stations in 20 states.

Kodak reacts to market changes

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Eastman Kodak Co., battling a steep drop in demand for photographic film and paper, is scaling back film manufacturing in China and closing various businesses in Rochester and West Virginia, eliminating about 1,000 jobs.

Kodak, which is navigating a tough transition to digital photography, said Thursday it will consolidate North American color photographic paper manufacturing at factories in Windsor, Colo., and Harrow, England, by shutting down an operation in Rochester by the end of October.

It said manufacturing of consumer film products will be cut back in Xiamen, China.

By year-end, the company also will close another business in Rochester that recycles polyester waste and shrink an operation that processes polyester raw material. It instead will buy finished raw material and hire an outsider to handle the recycling.

In addition, Kodak will close a printing-plate factory in Middleway, W.Va., by next March, as it consolidates printing operations after its $980 million buyout of Canada's Creo Inc., the world's biggest maker of printer software.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 26, 2005
Words:507
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