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Business news in brief

In the Region

WSFS Financial files to sell securities

WSFS Financial Corp., Wilmington, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise as much as $150 million from the sale of securities. The so-called shelf registration gives the company the flexibility to raise capital at some point in the future. The bank's shares closed down $1.24, or 3 percent, to $38.01 on Nasdaq. - Harold Brubaker

Dechert to open an office in Ireland

Dechert L.L.P., the Philadelphia law firm, said Wednesday it would open an office in Dublin, focusing on advising investment funds, their investment managers, and other fund service providers. Because of its favorable tax treatments and regulatory structures, Ireland has become a major center for investment funds. Dechert said Declan O'Sullivan, who previously led the alternative investment practice at the Irish firm William Fry, had joined Dechert in Dublin to lead the practice. The firm has 19 offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. - Chris Mondics

Bus company to expand Phila. service, a city-to-city, express bus company that launched in April 2006 as a subsidiary of Coach USA, is expanding its service in Philadelphia with new destinations. Dale Moser, president and chief operating officer of - along with city tourism and convention officials - will make the announcement at's arrival and departure location on the south side of John F. Kennedy Boulevard, near North 30th Street and the west entrance to the 30th Street Station, at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. is known for offering fares starting at $1. - Suzette Parmley

Gamesa and USW reach agreement

A contract agreement has been reached between the wind-energy company Gamesa Technology Corp. and about 300 United Steelworkers, many of whom help build blades and other turbine components at sites in Fairless Hills and Ebensburg. The four-year pact, ratified June 4, contains wage increases of 5 percent the first year and 3 percent each of the remaining years, as well as benefit enhancements, according to the union and the company. It replaces a contract that expired May 31. Gamesa has a workforce of about 800 in Pennsylvania, including offices in Oxford Valley and Center City, and plans to add up to 20 people at each of its two factories, with the hiring process "only now getting under way," a spokesman said. - Maria Panaritis


Official says Greece will meet deficit targets

Greece is on track to meet its target of reducing the deficit this year, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said, dismissing talk of his country's defaulting on its debt as "ridiculous." He said data that would be published in the next few days showed that Greece's deficit had fallen 40 percent in the first five months of 2010. Greece's estimated budget gap stood at 13.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2009, and the government has pledged to reduce it to 8.1 percent by the end of 2010. Greece's government debt woes sparked a continent-wide debt crisis and caused the euro to sink. - AP

More British Airways strikes possible

British Airways faces the threat of more strikes over the summer after union leaders said they would ballot cabin crew members for further action in a bitter dispute over changes to pay and working conditions. As the last of 22 days of walkouts - which have cost the airline more than $220 million since mid-March - drew to a close Wednesday, there was little sign of a resolution. The airline continued to operate a 6:10 p.m. nonstop flight from Philadelphia International Airport to London during the strike. On Friday it resumes a 9:15 p.m. daily flight that was canceled during the strike. - AP

Good news on the dividends front

Target Corp. was one of several companies that announced dividend increases. The discount retailer's board declared a quarterly dividend of 25 cents, up 45 percent from 17 cents previously. The dividend will be paid Sept. 10 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 20. Heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. said its board had raised the dividend by 5 percent, from 42 cents per share to 44 cents. It will be payable Aug. 20 to shareholders of record as of July 20. And Viacom Inc. will pay a dividend for the first time and buy back as much as $4 billion in stock as the advertising market recovers. The quarterly dividend of 15 cents a share will be payable July 1 to shareholders of record June 21, Viacom said. - AP and Bloomberg News

Wholesale inventories and sales rise

Inventories held by wholesalers rose for a fourth straight month in April while sales rose for a 13th consecutive time. Both gains were encouraging signs for a sustained economic recovery. Wholesale inventories increased 0.4 percent last month after a 0.7 percent gain in March, the Commerce Department said. Sales increased 0.7 percent in April, helped by higher demand for autos, lumber, computers, and electrical equipment. The rise followed a 2.4 percent surge in March. The hope is that a steady rise in demand will prompt businesses to step up orders and restock depleted shelves. That would give a boost to factories and prompt them to increase hiring. - AP

May foreclosures level off

Foreclosure activity leveled off in May as lenders tried to work through the backlog of distressed properties that accumulated over the last 20 months, RealtyTrac, Irvine, Calif., reported Thursday. Filings were 3 percent lower in May than in April, and down just less than 1 percent from May 2009. Pennsylvania had one filing for every 1,039 houses; New Jersey's rate was one in 440 houses. The national rate was one filing for every 400 houses. Nevada had the worst rate - one in 79 homes. - Alan J. Heavens

Yields mixed on money-market funds

The average seven-day yield on taxable money-market funds was 0.04 percent this week, up from 0.03 percent last week, according to iMoneyNet Inc. A seven-day yield is an annual yield that is based on the preceding seven days' level of income by the fund. The average yield on tax-free funds was 0.04 percent this week, unchanged from last week. - Rhonda Dickey