In the Region KLNB real estate to open office in Can...


September 28, 2001

In the Region

KLNB real estate to open office in Can Co.

Real estate brokerage firm KLNB Inc. will open an office in October at the Can Co. in Canton as it takes on more business in the city's commercial office and retail markets.

The new office will be the fourth office for KLNB in an area stretching from Baltimore to Northern Virginia. KLNB, which employs 48 full-time real estate professionals, reported sales volume of $878 million in 2000.

Timothy R. Hearn will be the partner in charge of the new location. One of KLNB's initial projects will be the leasing of the Can Co., a mixed-use project of Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse.

Bethlehem sells a stake for cash and foreign ore

Bethlehem Steel Corp. sold its 5 percent stake in closely held Mineracoes Brasileiras Reunidas to Brazil's Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, the largest iron ore producer, for $25 million yesterday.

Bethlehem Steel, which has had four straight quarterly losses, will get $4.4 million in cash and credits applied against future ore purchases. Those purchases are expected in the next nine months, the company said in a statement. Iron ore is the main ingredient used for making steel.

On Monday, Bethlehem Steel, the No. 5 U.S. steel maker, named turnaround specialist Robert Miller Jr. chairman and chief executive, replacing Duane Dunham. The company is battling cheap imports and shrinking demand.


Rate on 30-year mortgage hits 6.72%, nearly 3-year low

Mortgage rates around the country dropped this week to their lowest levels in nearly three years.

The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 6.72 percent, down from 6.80 percent last week, according to the nationwide survey released yesterday by Freddie Mac, the mortgage company.

It marked the seventh week in a row that 30-year mortgages have been under 7 percent. This week's rate marked the lowest level for 30-year mortgages since they averaged 6.69 percent the week of Dec. 18, 1998. Fifteen-year mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, dipped to 6.23 percent this week, compared with 6.30 percent the previous week, and is the lowest level since Oct. 9, 1998.

A year ago, rates for 30-year mortgages averaged 7.88 percent and rates for 15-year mortgages averaged 7.53 percent.

Nissan's production line for Maxima moving to U.S.

Nissan Motor Co. said yesterday that it will move its Maxima production line from Japan to Smyrna and Decherd, Tenn., in an expansion that will create 2,000 new jobs in the state.

A redesigned model of the Maxima, Nissan's top-of-the-line car, will roll off the assembly line in January 2003, the company said.

The move is part of a $1 billion expansion to the Smyrna manufacturing plant, the company's only vehicle assembly factory in the United States, and its parts plant in nearby Decherd. The move also will create thousands of other jobs and hundreds of spin-off businesses, mostly small parts suppliers, Nissan said.

DaimlerChrysler chief's contract extended to '05

DaimlerChrysler AG said its supervisory board extended chief executive Juergen E. Schrempp's contract through April 2005 to ensure "continuity" atop the world's fifth-biggest automaker.

DaimlerChrysler said board member Juergen Hubbert, who heads the Mercedes-Benz car division, also will stay through 2005. The company didn't say when the contracts were due to expire.

"With the key players Juergen Schrempp and Juergen Hubbert, continuity and stability is guaranteed," said Hilmar Kopper, head of the supervisory board, in a statement. "Within the next few years, the appointment of younger candidates as members of the board of management will have priority."

AT&T, BellSouth talk about a partial merger

Long-distance giant AT&T Corp. is talking to BellSouth Corp. about a possible partial merger, a move that could reunite it with one of the regional Bells it was forced to spin off back in 1984, said a source familiar with the negotiations yesterday.

Any such deal would take place only after AT&T spins off its cable business, AT&T Broadband, and involve only its consumer and business telecom divisions said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. AT&T has also made similar overtures to other, unidentified telephone companies, the source said.

Business Week, which first reported the talks on its Web site yesterday, said AT&T Chief Executive Officer C. Michael Armstrong has characterized the offer as a "merger of equals" that could be realized as soon as next month.

This column was compiled from reports by Sun staff writers, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Reuters.

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