Nissan, Mazda report big lossesTwo of Japan's...

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Nissan, Mazda report big losses

Two of Japan's leading car manufacturers, Nissan and Mazda, reported huge losses yesterday for their last fiscal years, heightening concern that Japan's overcrowded automobile industry is heading for a consolidation.

The Nissan Motor Co. reported a group net loss of 166.1 billion yen, or $1.86 billion, almost double the loss of 86.9 billion yen recorded in the previous fiscal year.

The Mazda Motor Corp. reported a net loss for the Japanese nTC parent company of 35.8 billion yen, or $400.7 million using the exchange rate of 89.35 yen to the dollar that was in effect when the fiscal year ended on March 31, down from its loss of 44.2 billion yen a year earlier.

In contrast, the other Japanese automobile companies have reported improved results.

Intel likely to announce new chip

Intel Corp. is expected to announce next week a new 90-megahertz Pentium chip for notebook computers that will enable manufacturers to offer new, higher performance laptops, sources said yesterday.

The new chip will require less power than the 75-megahertz Pentium chip Intel now sells to the notebook market, the sources said.

Intel spokesman Tom Waldrop would not confirm that Intel will announce a new chip designed for notebooks.

12 arrested in theft plot

The FBI arrested the president of Prestige Computer Inc. and 11 other people in what it said was a plot to steal semiconductor chips from a phony Intel Corp. warehouse set up as part of a sting.

The arrests capped a nine-month undercover probe that targeted the thriving black market in technology components stolen from some of Silicon Valley's best-known manufacturers, the FBI said.

FBI officials said Prestige President Lawrence Wong led a criminal enterprise involved in mail fraud, money laundering, interstate transportation of stolen goods and other crimes. The would-be robbers had planned to steal 6,000 chips from the warehouse, the FBI said.

Telephone calls to San Jose, Calif.-based Prestige went unanswered yesterday..

Chrysler bid may get hearings

The chairman of the House Banking Committee said yesterday that "extensive" public hearings would be held if billionaire Kirk Kerkorian proceeds with his attempt to acquire Chrysler Corp. in a leveraged buyout.

House Banking Chairman James Leach, R-Iowa, said the proposal "raises questions Congress cannot duck: whether there are aspects of public policy that undercut rather than bolster democratic capitalism and, perhaps, civil society itself."

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