Md. jobless claims down last weekFirst-time applications...

BUSINESS DIGEST

July 08, 1994

Md. jobless claims down last week

First-time applications for state unemployment benefits declined last week by 21,000, to 332,000, the lowest level in nearly four months, the government reported yesterday.

The Labor Department said in the report that the decrease was the biggest in 10 weeks. Most economists were expecting a much more modest decline of about 7,000.

Eisner interest in CBS deal denied

Executives close to both QVC Inc. and CBS Inc. yesterday denied reports that the chairman of Walt Disney Co., Michael Eisner, had approached them about becoming involved in their merger.

An article in Variety yesterday said that Mr. Eisner had no interest in derailing the merger but hoped to work out some type of joint venture with CBS and QVC. But the executives close to QVC and CBS said that the companies had not had any discussions with Mr. Eisner.

Bell Atlantic to move jobs to D.C.

fTC

Bell Atlantic Corp. will move about 260 jobs from Silver Spring to the District of Columbia to improve efficiency and cut real estate costs, the company said yesterday.

The move, part of a consolidation of its Federal Systems unit, will also affect about 180 employees based in Northern Virginia. The move is expected to be completed by the end of 1995.

A&A gets reinsurance coverage

Alexander & Alexander Services Inc. said yesterday that it has obtained reinsurance coverage to protect itself from indemnities related to a subsidiary it sold in 1987.

A&A said it expects to report a second-quarter charge of $6 million to cover the cost of the premium and deductible. The insurance coverage is intended to protect the parent company from potential exposure to policies of its Sphere Drake Insurance Group before the unit was sold in 1987.

The reinsurance was crucial to an agreement with American International Group Inc., announced last month, which calls for AIG to invest $200 million in A&A.

Firm hopeful about China venture

Universal Security Instruments Inc. said yesterday that the Chinese government has decided not to enter any further joint ventures with Western cellular phone manufacturers, which the Owings Mills company said should improve prospects for a joint venture in which it holds a 15 percent stake.

Company Chief Financial Officer Harvey Grossblatt said Universal has already carried out most of a $3.5 million contract, announced last year, to help a Chinese joint venture build a cellular phone factory and design prototypes.

The design contract will be fulfilled by the end of the year, setting the stage for production to begin.

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