WASHINGTON - The financially pressed Chrysler Corp., one of the biggest players in the municipal vendor lease market, is folding its leasing division and has sold most of its tax-exempt lease portfolio to Koch Industries Inc.

The big-three auto company's decision to exit the municipal finance business was part of a strategy to focus on providing only "core" financial services that support sales of the company's cars and trucks, said Robert Reynolds, executive vice president of Chrysler Capital Corp., the parent company of the divested public finance unit.

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