Marriott plans to cut
IT jobs in Bethesda

Marriott International, the Bethesda-based hospitality giant, said Friday that it is cutting IT jobs at its headquarters.

Formal notices have not been given, and the company would not say how many of the 1,200 IT employees in Bethesda would be affected.

“Over the course of the year, we have held five different town hall meetings to let our IT associates know we would be moving to a leaner organization,” Jeff Flaherty, a spokesman for the company, said in a statement. “This week, at another town hall, we announced there would be reductions in Headquarters-based IT jobs.”

Flaherty would not say when the job cuts would take place.

With about 15,000 area workers, Marriott is one of the biggest employers in the region.

In 2010, the company announced an effort to beef up its international presence, with new operating divisions in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

“Since then, we have been reviewing the best way to deploy resources at our corporate headquarters and in the continents,” Flaherty said. “In the Information Resources area specifically, we will be contracting with companies whose core competency is IT services, which will create efficiencies for the company, our owners and franchisees.”

— Abha Bhattarai

debt crisis
Cyprus gets bailout from euro zone, IMF

Cash-strapped Cyprus secured a $13 billion bailout package from its European partners and the International Monetary Fund in a bid to keep the island nation from a bankruptcy that could rekindle the region’s debt crisis, officials said early Saturday.

In return for the rescue loans, Cyprus will trim its deficit, shrink its troubled banking sector, raise taxes and privatize state assets, said the Netherlands’ Jeroen Dijssel­bloem, president of the Eurogroup meetings of the 17-nation euro zone’s finance ministers.

“The assistance is warranted to safeguard financial stability in Cyprus and the euro zone as a whole,” he said, briefing reporters after almost 10 hours of negotiations in Brussels.

While the bailout for the east Mediterranean island nation is many times smaller than Greece’s or Ireland’s, it was still considered crucial to the euro zone’s future because a default even by a small country could roil financial markets and undermine investor confidence in other euro-zone nations.

To reduce the amount of bailout loans Cyprus needs to keep its government afloat and recapitalize its banks, the ministers agreed to make sizable Greek operations of the country’s two largest banks, Bank of Cyprus and Laiki, eligible for spare rescue cash from Greece’s bailout accord.

To raise enough new revenues, some creditors were also pushing Cyprus to accept a one-time levy of 10 percent on people with more than $130,000 in their Cypriot bank account. Dijsselbloem said Cyprus’s outsized banking sector requires “unique measures” but he did not immediately comment whether such a one-time levy had been agreed on.

— Associated Press

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l  BP asked a federal judge Friday to temporarily halt an estimated $8.5 billion settlement with plaintiffs over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, saying the claims administrator’s decisions could give claimants “windfalls” and cost the oil company billions of dollars. A filing in federal court in New Orleans said BP would be “irreparably harmed” without relief from the court. A judge ruled March 5 that BP must keep paying certain types of oil spill compensation in much larger amounts and to more parties than it had anticipated.

l  Ford Motor cut Chief Executive Alan Mulally’s compensation by 29 percent last year after the
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l  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Friday that his country would join the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership talks in pursuit of a Pacific trade pact. His decision to join the talks sparked protests from farmers who have long enjoyed protected status.

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— From news services

Coming Next Week

l  In Sunday Business: Microsavings programs build wealth, one penny at a time.

l  On Tuesday: Housing starts for February released at 8:30 a.m.