STRATEGIC FIT: New York & Co., the 490-unit moderate chain traded on the New York Stock Exchange, is acquiring Jasmine Co. Inc., a privately owned 14-unit women's chain in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island selling upscale and contemporary apparel, footwear and accessories under the JasmineSola and Luisa Luisa labels. Luciano Manganella, the founder and president, and Stacey Manganella, executive vice president of merchandising, will stay on, according to New York & Co.'s announcement Tuesday.

VERSACE IN CHINA: Versace is looking east. The company has reopened four refurbished shops in China. Three are in Hong Kong shopping centers and the fourth is at Shanghai's Plaza 66. All have been converted to Versace's new store design featuring white leather furnishings and black lacquered surfaces. Stores in Milan and London already have been converted to the new concept. Versace plans to open eight new stores in China this year. Five are earmarked for the younger Versace Jeans Couture collection. These units will be run through franchising deals with local partners.

FEDERATED'S NEW FINANCING: Federated Department Stores Inc. has inked a new five-year credit facility worth $2 billion with J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, Bank of America and other banks, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Federated has the option of increasing the line to $2.5 billion. One of the borrowing conditions of the new facility is the requirement that the proposed $17 billion equity-and-debt acquisition by Federated of May Department Stores gets completed.

COTTON CLAMOR: The U.S. challenged a request by Brazil on Friday seeking authorization from the World Trade Organization to retaliate with $3 billion in punitive sanctions over the failure by the Bush administration to comply with a ruling that found that U.S. cotton subsidies breached global rules. In a statement, the U.S. said it "objected to the appropriateness of the countermeasures ... proposed by Brazil." But the heat remains on the U.S., and failure to fully comply could see Brazil seeking a review panel to examine whether the U.S. met its obligations. However, Brazil's WTO ambassador, Luiz Felipe de Seixas Corrêa, said recent action by the Bush administration to have Congress end the illegal subsidy program was "a positive step and we hope the U.S. Congress will follow up with concrete and timely actions."

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