Brazil refinances debtBrazil closed a major chapter in its...

BUSINESS DIGEST

April 16, 1994

Brazil refinances debt

Brazil closed a major chapter in its debt-ridden history late yesterday by completing an agreement with 750 banks that refinances roughly $49 billion in borrowed money.

The accord, reached in New York, is a vestige of the enormous run-up in Third World debts that sent shock waves through the world financial system in the early 1980s and led to big losses by banks in the United States and other countries.

Under an arrangement set up by former Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady, Brazil will repay much of its debt to the banks with special bonds, backed by U.S. Treasury bonds as collateral.

Brazil, which has the highest foreign debt in the developing world, owes about $120 billion.

Optimism up, survey shows

Consumers grew more optimistic about the economy this month, according to a University of Michigan survey yesterday.

The University of Michigan reported that its index on consumer sentiment rose to 94.2 at mid-month from 91.5 in March, according to subscribers who saw the report.

Potomac Edison plans increase

The Potomac Edison Co., which provides electricity in Western Maryland, yesterday announced that it has filed a $31 million rate increase request with the Maryland Public Service Commission. The proposed date for the increase is Nov. 11.

The utility, which is a subsidiary of Allegheny Power System Inc., said the increase is primarily needed to cover the cost of complying with the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

Westinghouse gets contract

Westinghouse Electric Corp. has received an $8.5 million contract to build 31 spare signal processors for the F-16, the Air Force's main fighter plane, the company said yesterday.

The contract is part of Westinghouse's long-standing role as supplier of the F-16's ATG-68 radar systems, of which the firm has built about 2,600 over the past 10 years, said a spokesman.

Schneider firm files for bankruptcy

The main operating company of fugitive German developer Juergen Schneider filed for bankruptcy yesterday as work began to determine how much of his real estate empire could be salvaged.

The district court in Koenigstein, where Mr. Schneider ran his business from a castle in the hills outside Frankfurt, said Dr. Juergen Schneider AG had filed for bankruptcy because it was insolvent.

Mr. Schneider owes an estimated 250 million marks ($146 million) to as many as 50 small building firms in Bavaria, Hesse and Saxony.

About 40 of the Schneider company's creditor banks announced late Thursday that they were owed 5 billion marks ($2.92 billion) by the entrepreneur, who disappeared last Friday.

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