INTERNATIONAL BRIEFING

Friday, March 27, 2009; Page D03

FRANCE

Executives Give Up Stock Options

The top executives at GdF Suez, a natural gas and electricity company, gave up their stock options after the payouts prompted a strike by port workers that disrupted activity at the company's two liquefied natural gas terminals in France.

In the country's latest sign of public anger with company bosses and how the financial crisis has been managed, terminal workers from the powerful CGT union called the strike to protest the payout of 1.1 million stock options to the company's two top executives.

BRAZIL

Joblessness Hits 10-Month High

Unemployment in Brazil rose to 8.5 percent in February, the highest rate in 10 months, the government said. The result marked an increase of 0.3 percentage point over January.

RUSSIA

Loans to Cover Deficit Considered

Russia may decide to borrow abroad to cover its $87 billion budget deficit, rather than tapping its rainy-day fund, a senior government official said. Konstantin Vyshkovsky, head of the Finance Ministry's international financial relations department, said Russia may opt for not drawing down the $142 billion Reserve Fund and instead may borrow abroad.

Russia's top officials so far have brushed off suggestions of possible foreign borrowing and have said the country's Reserve Fund would be enough to cover the impending budget deficit.

Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers, the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.


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