Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, March 17, 1999

Japan budget gets speedy approval

TOKYO -- Japan's budget for fiscal 1999, meant to revive the sputtering economy, passed into law today even though a chamber of Parliament voted against the record-high spending package. The approval of the $698 billion budget was the swiftest in postwar history, and it reflects a growing urgency within the government to reinvigorate the world's second-largest economy. The legislation boosts government spending by 5.4 percent.

Daimler unveils cell-powered car

DETROIT -- DaimlerChrysler AG unveiled today the NECAR 4, which it called the first driveable fuel cell-powered passenger car in the United States.

The five-passenger car, based on the Mercedes A-Class small car, can travel 280 miles before refueling and emits only water vapor for exhaust.

Bermuda company acquiring Frontier

NEW YORK -- Global Crossing Ltd. of Bermuda is buying the larger U.S. telephone company Frontier Corp. for about $11.2 billion in stock in the latest alliance in the telecommunications industry.

The deal announced today gives Global Crossing a foothold in the U.S. market where Frontier competes with long-distance phone service providers.

In other news . . .

AT&T Corp. announced a 3-for-2 stock split, its first split in 35 years, and said it will be payable on April 15 to shareholders of record March 31 . . . America Online Inc. said it had completed the acquisition of Netscape Communications Corp. following a vote earlier in the day by Netscape shareholders in favor of the deal . . . United Technologies Corp. is selling its automotive division to Lear Corp. for $2.3 billion . . . Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette said it filed with U.S. regulators a proposal to offer a new class of common stock that will track the performance of DLJdirect, its online brokerage business.

See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
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