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Large-scale development approved for Maine woods

Bangor, ME (AP) — A resort and residential development that would be the largest of its kind in Maine has been unanimously approved by a state planning board.

Plum Creek Timber Co.’s proposal was approved Wednesday, nearly five years after the Seattle-based company announced plans to build two resorts and more than 2,000 housing units in the Moosehead Lake area.

Plum Creek must obtain more approvals before construction, and opponents say they intend to sue to stop the development.

British homebuilder Barratt plans to raise $1.18 billion

London (AP) —British homebuilder Barratt Developments PLC announced a rights issue Wednesday to raise $1.18 billion to beef up its balance sheet and prepare for new land acquisitions.

The company said a degree of stability had returned to the housing market, after a sharp drop in house prices and new construction because of the global credit crisis.

Barratt said it expected to complete 12,000 homes this year, down from 13,200 in the recent full year and more than 18,000 in the previous year.

Marriott International to record $760 million in charges

Bethesda, MD. (AP) — Marriott says it will record $760 million in third-quarter impairment charges as it cuts prices and curbs development in its time-share business to boost cash flow.

Marriott International Inc. plans to reduce residential prices to boost sales and convert certain projects for other uses.

The company also will sell some undeveloped land, given the weak economy that has dampened demand for business and leisure travel.

China eases travel limits in Macau, Wynn says

Hong Kong (AP) — Gambling magnate Steve Wynn said Wednesday travel restrictions that have stifled growth in the Chinese gambling city of Macau have been eased, as he promoted his company’s new initial public offering.

Wynn is looking to raise between $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion by selling an equity stake in his booming operations in Macau, where he has one casino resort and another to open next year.

The 67-year-old billionaire, speaking to media in Hong Kong, said China recently relaxed limits on visitors to Macau from the country’s Guandong province, the main source of the city’s gamblers.

Macau, an hour’s ferry ride from Hong Kong and the place in China where gambling is legal, is the world’s top gambling market.

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