Japan trade surplus rises 4.8%Japan's giant trade surplus...

BUSINESS DIGEST

September 03, 1994

Japan trade surplus rises 4.8%

Japan's giant trade surplus rose 4.8 percent, to $14.45 billion, in July from $13.78 billion a year earlier, the Finance Ministry announced yesterday.

A ministry official told reporters that the trade surplus was still on a falling trend, but added that future movements were uncertain because of possible changes in crude-oil prices and the yen/dollar rate.

The ministry, which announced the trade figures yesterday, said the surplus in Japan's current account, its broadest measure of trade in goods and services, rose 0.9 percent to $11.74 billion in July.

The trade numbers come ahead of next week's U.S.-Japan economic framework talks on ways to cut Tokyo's huge surplus and improve access to its markets.

Failed MCI deal hurts Nextel stock

The stocks of mobile communications companies tumbled yesterday after the announcement of the collapse of the proposed MCI-Nextel Communications Corp. plan to build a nationwide cellular system, but Nextel said it has the money to proceed alone with the project through 1997.

Late Thursday, Nextel, which provides radio dispatch systems, and long distance telephone carrier MCI Communications Corp. finally ended talks on a deal to provide nationwide wireless communications. Comcast Corp., a cable television and cellular phone company, also had a stake in the plan.

The news hit Nextel and other wireless communications stocks hard yesterday. Nextel lost about 10 percent, closing off $2.75, at $22.50, in heavy trading on Nasdaq.

AlliedSignal to buy Textron unit

AlliedSignal Inc. will acquire the Lycoming Turbine Engine Division of Textron Inc. for about $375 million in cash plus the assumption of some liabilities, the two companies announced.

The companies signed an agreement Thursday night at the Morristown headquarters of AlliedSignal, said John V. Alexander, spokesman for AlliedSignal.

Rite Aid to sacrifice assets

Rite Aid Corp., operator of the nation's largest drugstore chain, agreed to divest assets in three Northeastern cities to move ahead with its purchase of competitor LaVerdiere's Enterprises Inc., the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.

If approved, the agreement would settle FTC claims that the proposed $50 million acquisition would violate antitrust laws by restricting competition in prescription drug sales.

Under the agreement, Camp Hill, Pa.-based Rite Aid would divest pharmacy assets in its or LaVerdiere's stores in Bucksport and Lincoln, Maine, and Berlin, N.H., to an FTC-approved party that competes with Rite Aid. That concern would have to maintain the stores in the three cities.

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