Kia Motors is recalling more than 70,000 Optima midsize sedans to fix transmission problems that can cause the cars to roll even while they’re in park.

The cars are from the 2006 through 2008 model years and were built from Sept. 29, 2005 to June 13, 2007.

In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Kia said that on some of the cars, a transmission shifter cable was installed incorrectly and can become detached from the shifter. If the cable comes off, the car would stay in the last gear used even if the driver puts the transmission in park, the documents said.

 

99 Cents Only store owner receives proposal for deal

Discount store operator 99 Cents Only Stores of City of Commerce, Calif., has received a proposal to take the company private from the company’s founding family and investment firm Leonard Green & Partners LP.

The offer would value the company at $19.09 per share, or about $1.3 billion. That’s slightly above the $16.68 that the stock closed at before the deal was announced.

But Wedbush analyst Joan Storms said in a client note that she believes the offer somewhat undervalues the company. She thinks there is the potential for a sweetened bid in an effort to ward off any possible competing offers.

99 Cents Only said Friday that the would-be acquirers include the Schiffer-Gold family, which owns about 33 percent of its outstanding stock.

 

Fidelity Investments says profit rose by 17 percent

Fidelity Investments said Friday its operating profit rose 17 percent last year to nearly $3 billion, lifted by gains at the privately held company’s mutual fund sales operations and its brokerage business.

The company limited expense growth to 4 percent, further bolstering the bottom line at Boston-based Fidelity. Its work force was 37,000, unchanged from a year ago but down from a peak of more than 46,000 in 2007.

The nation’s second-largest mutual fund company, surpassed last year by Vanguard Group in the top slot based on fund assets, reported limited financial performance data in an annual report released to its private shareholders.

 

Increase in cost of food fuels China’s inflation rate

China’s February inflation stayed elevated on a double-digit rise in food prices, adding to pressure for communist leaders to cool living costs they worry could fuel unrest.

Friday’s report came as Beijing promised sweeping efforts this week to improve life for China’s poor and working class with higher wages and subsidies. Inflation could undercut that by eroding the public’s economic gains.

February consumer prices rose 4.9 percent while food price inflation accelerated to 11 percent from January’s 10.3 percent increase. That exceeded Beijing’s 4 percent target for the year and defied forecasts by analysts who expected the rate to ease.

 

Nations using euro agree on pact before summit

Leaders of the 17 countries that use the euro agreed Friday to better coordinate their economic policies to improve competitiveness and keep public deficits in check.

The so-called “pact for the euro” is an important prerequisite for Germany, the eurozone’s biggest economy, to extend further help to the eurozone’s weaker members as the currency union struggles with a crippling debt crisis.

In the pact, which will be formally adopted at a wider European Union summit March 24-25, eurozone leaders commit themselves to hit annual benchmarks on economic competitiveness, boosting employment and making their budgets sustainable in the long term.