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SF reservoir protected

(AP) -- San Francisco voters rejected overwhelmingly a measure that sought to restore of flooded gorge in Yosemite National Park that is used as a city reservoir.

The San Francisco Department of Elections on Wednesday reported that only about 23 percent of voters supported Measure F.

If passed, it could have set in motion plans to drain the 117-billion-gallon Hetch Hetchy reservoir.

The measure's supporters sought to undo a contentious, century-old decision by Congress that created a municipal reservoir in a national park.

The battle for its restoration was first waged by naturalist John Muir, who described Hetch Hetchy as Yosemite Valley's twin.

An unlikely coalition of Republicans and environmentalists supported the measure, working against Democratic San Franciscans, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who fought to retain the city's pure water supply.
Cemex IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Cemex SAB, the largest cement maker in the Americas, plans to raise as much as 2.09 trillion Colombian pesos ($1.15 billion) in an initial public offering of its Central and South America unit.

Cemex Latam will offer 170.4 million shares at 12,250 pesos each in a public offering in Colombia and a private placement outside of the Andean country, the Monterrey, Mexico-based company said in a filing late Tuesday.

After the offering, Cemex will own approximately 70.5 percent of the Latin American unit's outstanding shares.

Cemex (NYSE: CX) is seeking new funding after concluding a $7.25 billion refinancing agreement in September that extended debt maturities by three years to 2017.
Homebuilder buyout

(Bloomberg) -- Servicios Corporativos Javer SAPI, the best performing Mexican homebuilder this year in the bond market, is nearing an agreement to buy most of Empresas ICA SAB's residential construction business in a non-cash deal, according to two people familiar with the transaction.

The companies may be two weeks away from reaching a final accord, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

The ICA homebuilding assets are worth about $100 million and account for 80 percent of that part of its business, said one of the people.

In exchange, ICA would receive about a 20 percent stake in Monterrey, Mexico-based Javer, both people said.

Luz Montemayor, a spokeswoman for Mexico City-based ICA, declined to comment on a possible deal. Veronica Lozano, an investor relations official with Javer, also declined to comment.
Out of operation

(Bloomberg) -- About 35 million square feet of office space in downtown Manhattan is out of operation following superstorm Sandy, according to brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (NYSE: JLL).

That represents about 35 percent of the total inventory in the market, according to the company. The information is current as of Tuesday morning.
Bridge holds up

(AP) -- A decision by Michigan voters to defeat a proposal that would have meant referendums on whether new bridges or tunnels are built between their state and Canada helps clear the way for a new Canadian-financed bridge deemed critical to trade, Canada's government said Wednesday.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said a new bridge is important to the economies of both countries and said he's very pleased to see the people of Michigan support it.

Michigan voters on Tuesday defeated Ambassador Bridge owner billionaire Manuel “Matty” Moroun's efforts to require a public vote before any competing international crossing can be built with state money. It came in response to the proposed construction of a new government bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
Rhode Island approvals

(AP) -- Rhode Island voters have approved $25 million in bonds for projects to help those struggling to find affordable housing.

A referendum authorizing the bonds easily passed Tuesday.

The money is expected to fund the construction or renovation of about 600 affording housing units throughout the state.

A recent study found that 90,000 households in the state earn less than is needed to afford the average-priced two-bedroom home

Voters have also authorized Rhode Island to spend up to $20 million on open space preservation projects, outdoor recreation and efforts to enhance water quality around the state.

A ballot question approving bonds for the projects easily passed Tuesday.

Nearly half of the money will further state and local efforts to acquire and preserve open space.

Some $5.5 million will go to local governments for help in acquiring and improving local recreational facilities and parks.

The remaining $4 million will fund efforts to protect and improve water quality in the Narragansett Bay and other state bodies of water.
Quota rejected

(AP) -- Michigan voters have rejected a ballot initiative that would have ordered utilities to produce 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

The requirement would have been added to the state constitution, preventing legislators from overturning it.

Proposal 3 called for companies to generate more power from wind, solar, biomass and hydropower.

Its defeat followed a vigorous campaign, with both sides accusing each other of misstating what it would do.

Supporters included environmental groups and renewable energy companies.

They say it would have created 100,000 jobs, protected the environment and put Michigan in the forefront of a fast-growing industry.

Opponents say the measure was unrealistic and would sock ratepayers with high costs.

They say the issue should be debated in the Legislature, not added to the constitution.
Solar cell harm

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) said domestic makers of solar cells were harmed by competitors in China, upholding duties on imports from companies including Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) and Suntech Power Holdings Co. (NYSE: STP).

The six-member commission, an independent agency that administers trade laws, sided unanimously with a group of American producers of the goods, led by the U.S. unit of Bonn-based SolarWorld AG (PNK: SRWRY).

The ruling, the final step in the U.S. investigation, raises the profile of a trade dispute between the world's two largest economies on government support for clean energy products.

The U.S. Commerce Department on Oct. 10 set final duties on imports of the Chinese solar goods to counter government subsidies and to prevent the products from being sold below cost.

The decision has split the U.S. solar industry, with installers and some manufacturers saying that the higher price of imports will raise production costs and lead to unemployment.
Canadian sales

Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The value of Canadian homes sold in October declined from a year earlier, regional data show.

The value of purchases at 10 major regional real estate boards that have reported October figures fell 1.9 percent from the same month a year earlier to C$8 billion ($8.03 billion) from C$8.16 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. The number of homes sold dropped 2.8 percent, while prices increased 0.9 percent.

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