Lockheed Martin spacecraft plansLockheed Martin Astro Space...


Lockheed Martin spacecraft plans

Lockheed Martin Astro Space said yesterday that it is moving forward with construction of the first of two spacecraft it has contracted to build for Direct Broadcasting Satellite Corp., a Washington-based satellite TV company that plans to serve the Spanish language TV market in the Americas, including the United States.

The subsidiary of Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin plans to build the satellite at its East Windsor, N.J., facility, said spokesman William Shumann. Mr. Shumann said the project had been held up by a lack of financing, which has now been resolved. Harley Radin, chairman and chief executive of DBSC, said he expects to launch and begin the small-dish service in late 1997.

2 insurers planning merger

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance and Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance, two old-line companies with headquarters just 25 miles apart, are pursuing a merger, the companies announced yesterday.

A preliminary review showed that by combining forces, the merged insurer would be more competitive than the two companies can be if they remain separate.

The combined enterprise would have assets of $78 billion under management and be the fifth largest mutual life insurance company in the country in terms of total capital and assets.

U.S. signs 'open skies' pacts

The United States has signed "open skies" agreements with five European nations over the last two weeks, following up on the American promise to lift all limits on international flights with any nation similarly inclined.

American negotiators also say they'll sign pacts with four more European nations in the next few weeks, wrapping up work on the sought-after nine-nation bloc.

It would be another advance for a long-term American effort. The U.S. signed an open skies agreement with Canada just a few months ago. The agreements mean no limits on where an airline can fly, how many passengers it can carry, or what it can charge.

German firm's units to pay fines

Two U.S. subsidiaries of Germany's Metallgesellschaft said yesterday they agreed to pay the New York Mercantile Exchange $250,000 in fines to settle alleged violations of exchange rules in 1992 and 1993.

The German metals, chemicals and trading group nearly collapsed last year as a result of heavy U.S. oil futures trading losses in late 1993 and has undergone an intensive restructuring.

The settlements end a review by NYMEX on activities of MG Refinings' prior management that resulted in a $1.2 billion trading loss.


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