Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

June 10, 2006

Maryland: Technology

Digene leaders get stock incentives

In what appears to be an effort to keep its management staff from following the chief executive out the door, Digene Corp. of Gaithersburg has awarded restricted stock units to five senior executives "for the purpose of providing retention incentive compensation," according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. Digene also promoted a vice president of sales and marketing to senior vice president and agreed that he could retain his position for two years or receive compensation if a change in control occurs. On Thursday, Digene said its chief executive, Evan Jones, planned to retire once a successor was chosen.

Tricia Bishop

Debt

Marriott sells notes worth $350 million

Bethesda-based Marriott International Inc., the largest U.S. hotel operator, sold $350 million of 10-year notes yesterday. The new debt, which was priced at 125 basis points more than comparable Treasuries, will be rated Baa2 by Moody's Investors Service, the second lowest of 10 investment-grade credit ratings.

Nation: Airlines

Delta recalling 60 to 70 pilots

Delta Air Lines Inc. said yesterday that it is recalling 60 to 70 furloughed pilots this summer. The Atlanta-based airline, the nation's third-largest carrier, said the move would help Delta meet new schedule demands and add flexibility to ensure good on-time performance. The recalled pilots will begin training in late June and will return to flying for Delta in late summer. With the move, Delta will have about 6,000 pilots.

Piracy

U.S. may bring China before the WTO

New U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said she will keep alive a threat to bring China before the World Trade Organization if that nation does not do more to curtail piracy of movies, music and books. "Intellectual property violation is a real problem in China, and we certainly are not going to take that option off the table," Schwab, a former University of Maryland official, said yesterday. The U.S. trade office, which had made the protection of intellectual property the centerpiece of its agenda, began this year to compile data for a potential lawsuit against China at the WTO over what the Bush administration calls the widespread sale of counterfeit goods and pirated movies. A U.S. case would argue that Chinese intellectual property laws fall short of the global requirements China agreed to when it joined the WTO in 2001.

Regulation

ING faces complaint on retirement funds

New Hampshire securities officials have charged units of Dutch financial services giant ING Groep NV with taking undisclosed payments for promoting poor investments to state employees in their individual retirement plans. Regulators ordered ING Financial Advisors and ING Life Insurance and Annuity Co. to stop that and a host of other alleged improper practices and to provide information they said the companies have withheld. The complaint, filed Thursday, accuses ING of accepting millions of dollars from mutual funds over several years in so-called "revenue sharing" payments to promote their products without telling investors about the payments.

This column was compiled from dispatches by Sun reporters, the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.

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