Bundesbank trims key rateUnder pressure to slash high...

BUSINESS DIGEST

March 19, 1993

Bundesbank trims key rate

Under pressure to slash high interest rates and help spur a global recovery, Germany's central bank trimmed a key interest rate a half-point to 7.5 percent.

The Bundesbank's reduction of its discount rate yesterday had immediate effects elsewhere: Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland quickly followed with their own rate cuts.

Trade gap grew in January

The U.S. merchandise trade deficit widened in January, the government reported. Economists said the report reflected the flat economies of many of the United States' key overseas trading partners.

The $7.30 billion monthly deficit represented a 6 percent increase over a $6.89 billion gap in December, the Commerce Department said in the report yesterday, and nearly wiped out a 6.2 percent improvement a month earlier.

Kirschner Medical to keep unit

Kirschner Medical Corp. has dropped a deal to sell its Spanish subsidiary, Industrias Quirurgicas de Levente, for $8.1 million to a group of investors headed by Granville Iberia S.A.

The Timonium-based orthopedic company said yesterday that, instead, it has a preliminary agreement with Figgie International of Cleveland to finance the subsidiary. Figgie owns a 20 percent stake in Kirschner.

USAir to buy engines for 15 757s

USAir will spend about $200 million to buy Rolls-Royce jet engines to power 15 Boeing 757-200 twin-jet airliners, the companies said yesterday.

The Arlington, Va.-based airline now has 40 757s in service or on order. The airline also placed options to buy engines for 15 other jets. The planes are scheduled for delivery in 1995 and 1996.

Employees sue GE, Martin

General Electric Co. and Martin Marietta Corp. have been named in a class action lawsuit that was filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut on behalf of 37,000 GE employees who will be affected by the sale of the General Electric Aerospace group to Martin Marietta, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs.

In a statement, the lawyers said the suit seeks primarily to prevent the transfer of all the pension-plan assets of the transferred employees from the GE pension plan to Martin Marietta.

fTC

Japan's stake in U.S. real estate off

Japanese investment in U.S. real estate dropped 84 percent last year as Japan's banks and investors coped with economic problems in the United States and at home, an accounting firm reported.

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