Data center for HagerstownThe world's second-largest...

BUSINESS DIGEST

July 24, 1993

Data center for Hagerstown

The world's second-largest credit card processor for merchants broke ground yesterday on a $14 million data center at Interstate 81 and U.S. 40 in Hagerstown that Maryland battled with West Virginia to keep in Washington County.

Card Establishment Services Inc., based in Melville, N.Y., bought Citicorp's credit card processing arm last year, and had agreed to move out of Citicorp's operations center in Washington County, just a few minutes drive north on I-81. The new 120,000-square-foot building is expected to house more than 650 employees by the end of 1994, CES said.

Mid-July car, truck sales up 17%

Domestic automakers said yesterday that mid-July car and truck sales rose 17 percent with only spotty reports of lost business due to Midwest flooding.

Car sales were up 13.5 percent and trucks rose 21.2 percent, not counting General Motors Corp. The No. 1 automaker delayed its numbers because of a two-week vacation shutdown. GM accounted for 39.8 percent of domestic vehicle sales in early July.

Upgrading phone service to Cuba

The State Department issued new guidelines yesterday for upgrading telephone service to Cuba, but Cuban officials indicated agreement may not be possible without a significant U.S. concession.

Under the proposal, telecommunications carriers would be able to compete for contracts to provide equipment and services needed for the upgraded telephone links. The guidelines would allow Cuba access for the first time in more than 25 years to proceeds generated by calls between the two countries.

One cellular standard proposed

Motorola Inc., a leading maker of cellular telephones, yesterday proposed a single standard for cellular network equipment throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Such a standard would allow system operators to build networks using equipment from competing vendors, which Motorola said would encourage competition and bring down prices.

Mobil, Exxon profits soar

Mobil Oil Corp.'s profits more than doubled and Exxon Corp.'s were up by a third in the second quarter, buoyed by cost cutting and higher domestic natural gas prices. Mobil credited its strong presence in the Pacific Rim, cost cutting and higher natural gas prices for its 127 percent earnings gain. Exxon, meanwhile, said yesterday that more than $200 million of the $305 million profit increase came from lower operating expenses.

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