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Business news in brief

In the Region

Increase granted, refund ordered

New Jersey regulators on Monday approved an electric rate increase for Public Service Electric & Gas Co. - and then wiped out most of the increase for two years by ordering the utility to refund overcharges from 1999 to 2003. The Board of Public Utilities granted PSE&G a rate increase of $73.5 million, which would increase the average bill for a residential customer by about $12 a year, or 0.9 percent. But the BPU also ordered the $122 million refund to be paid back over two years, which would reduce the increase to $1 a year. PSE&G is New Jersey's largest utility. "This represents a great win for ratepayers," said Stefanie A. Brand, director of the Division of Rate Counsel, which had argued for the refund. - Andrew Maykuth

Carpenter appoints a CEO

Carpenter Technology Corp., Wyomissing, Pa., said Monday that William A. Wulfsohn was the new president and chief executive officer of the specialty alloys maker. He will replace Gregory A. Pratt, who will remain board chairman. Pratt was appointed chairman and interim president and CEO in October, when Anne L. Stevens resigned. At the time, Carpenter said it intended to split the roles of chairman and CEO to make the company more accountable to shareholders. Wulfsohn, a member of Carpenter's board since April 2009, was a senior vice president at PPG Industries in Pittsburgh. - Paul Schweizer


Chrysler recalls 700,000 vehicles

Chrysler is recalling almost 600,000 minivans and Jeep Wranglers in the United States and another 100,000 elsewhere because of brake or wiring problems that could create safety issues, the company and federal regulators said. Chrysler said it was recalling 288,968 Jeep Wranglers from the 2006 to the 2010 model years due to a potential brake fluid leak. It also is recalling 284,831 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans from the 2008 and 2009 model years because a wiring problem can cause a fire inside the sliding doors. An additional 76,430 Wranglers and 34,143 minivans are being recalled in Canada, Mexico and other international markets, Chrysler said. - AP

Next iPhone has clearer screen

The next iPhone comes out June 24 and will have a higher-resolution screen, longer battery life and thinner design. CEO Steve Jobs opened Apple Inc.'s annual conference for software developers Monday by revealing the iPhone 4, which will cost $199 or $299 in the United States with a two-year AT&T contract, depending on the capacity. The iPhone 4 is about three-eighths of an inch thick; the previous iPhone was nearly half an inch. It is getting a camera on the front that could be used for videoconferencing, in addition to a five-megapixel camera and a flash on the back. It can shoot high-definition video. - AP

Consumer borrowing up in April

Consumer borrowing increased slightly in April, a sign that Americans may have more faith in the recovery. The Federal Reserve says that borrowing rose by $954.8 million in April. But the government revised away a gain it had originally reported for March. Instead, it reported that credit fell a sharp $5.44 billion during that month. The April increase, if it stands, would be only the second advance in the past 15 months. - AP

Altegrity to acquire Kroll

Marsh & McLennan Cos. is selling its risk consulting subsidiary Kroll Inc. for $1.13 billion to Altegrity Inc. The companies announced the all-cash transaction before markets opened Monday. Kroll is a 3,000-employee subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan, the publicly traded owner of the insurance brokerage Marsh as well as other risk and consulting subsidiaries, including Mercer. Altegrity is owned by private equity firm Providence Equity Partners. - AP

Airlines expect swing to profit

The worldwide airline industry will post a $2.5 billion profit in 2010, a sharp reversal from a $2.8 billion loss predicted just two months ago by the International Air Transportation Association. Despite the overall recovery, European airlines will still lose about $2.8 billion this year because of a stagnating economy, the Iceland volcano eruption, labor strikes, and a currency crisis, the trade group representing 230 airlines worldwide said. - Linda Loyd

Feds offer grants for rate oversight

The Obama administration announced it's making $51 million available to states that want to beef up oversight of health insurance rate increases. Outrage over premium increases was a turning point in the national health-care debate earlier this year, after Anthem Blue Cross proposed increases of up to 39 percent in California. The company withdrew the plan, but not before President Obama used it to help revive his stalled legislation. The $51 million announced Monday is the first installment of a five-year, $250 million grant program. - AP

Crisis panel subpoenas Goldman

A panel probing the causes of the financial meltdown has issued a subpoena for documents from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission said that Goldman wouldn't hand over the documents voluntarily and has made the fact-finding process difficult for months. It said it issues subpoenas only after giving companies time to cooperate. It is not clear what documents the commission was seeking. "We have been and continue to be committed to providing the FCIC with the information they have requested," Goldman Sachs spokesman Michael Duvally said. He declined to comment further. - AP

Rates fall on 3-, 6-month T-bills

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills fell in Monday's auction. The Treasury Department auctioned $27 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.130 percent, down from 0.160 percent last week. Another $27 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.210 percent, down from 0.220 percent last week. The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,996.71 while a six-month bill sold for $9,989.38. - AP

1-year yields unchanged

The Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, was 0.36 percent last week, the same as the previous week. - AP