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Noteworthy expenditures of the week
1. Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) board approved $10 billion for share repurchases, adding to the $4.9 billion already available, in a move that may help shore up HP's share price. The personal-computer and printer maker's stock is down some 25 percent this year, in part because of the sudden departure of Chief Executive Mark Hurd in August.
2. Spain's Banco Santander (STD) paid $4 billion for a portfolio of U.S. auto loans held by HSBC Holdings (HBC). Santander is seeking to expand globally to compensate for weak loan demand and rising rates at home.
3. South Korea's Posco (PKX), the world's No. 3 steelmaker, acquired Daewoo International, a steel and crude oil trader, for $2.8 billion. Daewoo already handles about one-quarter of Posco's steel exports.
4. Russia tried to sell $2.4 billion of federal local currency bonds, the largest amount offered since the central bank began keeping data in 2003. Investors bought only 16 percent of the bonds that were available, but that was an improvement on the results of a previous auction.
5. Intel paid $1.4 billion for Infineon Technology's (INTC) wireless unit to secure a foothold in the mobile-phone market it has struggled to crack for more than a decade.
6. 3M (MMM) bought Cogent Systems (COGT), a Pasadena (Calif.) maker of biometric identification systems, for $943 million. Best known for its Post-it Notes and Scotch tape, 3M also manufactures systems for issuing IDs, passports, and visas.
7. Exelon (EXC), the largest U.S. utility owner, offered a much as $900 million for Deere's (DE) renewable-energy unit, NewAlliance (NAL). The deal will advance Exelon's 2008 promise to reduce carbon emissions.
8. Allergan, the maker of wrinkle smoother Botox, agreed to pay $600 million and pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge to settle a U.S. investigation into its marketing practices.
9. The U.S. Marshals Office sold the New York City apartment of onetime hedge fund manager and admitted Ponzi schemer James Nicholson for $6.75 million.
10. In exchange for making a charitable donation of $250 or more, employees at Goldman Sachs (GS) enjoyed the privilege of wearing jeans to work on Fridays in August.