Nikkei index falls to 34-month lowJapan's benchmark...


Nikkei index falls to 34-month low

Japan's benchmark stock index plunged to a 34-month low this morning on concern that a government plan to help banks dispose of bad loans isn't sufficient to do the job, traders said.

Worries about a stalled economic recovery and stagnant corporate profits are also weighing on the market, they said.

By late morning, the Nikkei 225 was down about 300 points, or 2 percent, to its lowest level since August 1992.

Large British cable firms to merge

The biggest cable television operator in Britain, TeleWest Communications PLC, and the fifth-largest, SBC CableComms (UK), said yesterday that they plan to merge in a 679 million pound, or $1.08 billion, stock swap.

The deal will create a new company, TeleWest PLC, which will hold 31 cable television franchises that cover 4.1 million homes.

SBCC is partially owned by SBC Communications Inc., of San Antonio, Texas, and Cox Communications Inc., of Atlanta. The major shareholders of TeleWest are U S West Inc. and TeleCommunications Inc., both of Englewood, Colo.

Green Spring names chairman

Green Spring Health Services Inc. of Columbia, a managed care company that provides mental health and substance-abuse coverage to 10 million people nationwide, has named Donald P. Sacco chairman of the board.

Mr. Sacco is president of Pierce County Medical Bureau Inc. in Tacoma, Wash., one of six regional Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliates that own the company. Green Spring was spun off by former parent Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland in 1993. It had $130 million in revenue last year.

JP Foodservice to buy back stock

JP Foodservice Inc., a Columbia-based distributor of food and related products, said yesterday that it will repurchase up to 500,000 shares of its common stock by June 1996.

The shares, to be repurchased in the open market, will be used to meet stock issuance requirements under the company's retirement, employee stock purchase and director and employee option plans.

SpectraVision again in Chapter 11

Hotel pay-per-view company SpectraVision Inc. yesterday took its second trip into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, from which it emerged about 2 1/2 years ago.

The company filed for reorganization in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. It said the voluntary filing would let the company obtain additional financing and help it implement an operational turnaround while trying to restructure its finances. The company listed assets of $512.1 million and liabilities of $521.7 million.


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