Home sales continue to climbLow mortgage rates...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Home sales continue to climb

Low mortgage rates helped push sales of previously owned homes in July to the highest level in more than a year as the housing industry continued to rebound from a winter slump.

It was the third straight monthly advance. Except for a dip in the Midwest, sales were up in every region, including a double-digit gain in the West.

Many economists have pinned their hopes on housing to help lead the economy out of its near standstill in the April-June quarter because of housing's trickle-down effect on other sectors.

The National Association of Realtors reported yesterday that sales of existing single-family homes rose 5 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.99 million, up from 3.80 million in June and the highest since a 4.01 million rate in June 1994.

IHS completes IntegraCare merger

Integrated Health Services Inc., based in Owings Mills, said yesterday that it has completed the previously announced merger transaction with IntegraCare Inc. and that IntegraCare has become a wholly owned subsidiary of IHS.

IntegraCare is a diversified health care company focused on developing an integrated network of rehabilitation care, including home health services and physician practices throughout Florida.

IHS is a diversified health services provider, offering subacute and post-acute medical rehabilitative services. IHS operates 222 facilities in 30 states with more than 28,000 beds.

Ex-Honda executive sentenced

The former American Honda Motor Co. executive who testified he received millions of dollars in kickbacks from dealers was sentenced yesterday to five years in federal prison.

Stanley James Cardiges, top U.S. sales executive for American Honda from 1988 to 1992, admitted receiving $2 million to $5 million in cash, clothing and other gifts from dealers lusting for lucrative dealerships and scarce but hot-selling cars.

U.S. District Judge Joseph DiClerico fined Cardiges $364,000,

which his lawyer said far exceeded his assets.

Boatmen's to acquire bank

Boatmen's Bancshares Inc. said yesterday that it agreed to acquire Fourth Financial Corp. for about $1.2 billion in stock, the latest merger in the nation's banking industry.

Boatmen's, the largest banking company in Missouri, has about 500 offices in nine states in the Midwest and Southwest. It is the nation's 30th largest banking company with $33.4 billion in assets at the end of the second quarter.

Fourth Financial, based in Wichita, Kan., is the largest bank holding company in Kansas, where it has nearly 80 offices, and one of the largest in Oklahoma.

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