Japan cuts key interest rateJapan's central bank...

Japan cuts key interest rate

Japan's central bank said this morning that it was cutting its official discount rate in half to a new historic low of 0.5 percent, effective immediately.


The Bank of Japan last cut the key lending rate, which is the rate the central bank charges private banks for funds, to its previous record low of one percent in April.

Comsat, News Corp. sign deal


Bethesda-based Comsat Corp. said yesterday that News Corp. signed 11 leases worth more than $100 million for satellite capacity to distribute programming from the United States and Brazil directly to homes throughout Latin America.

The five-year leases will be accommodated on the Intelsat VII-A satellite scheduled for launch later this year, Comsat said.

LaserSight to buy MEC

LaserSight, based in Orlando, Fla., announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire MEC Health Care Inc. of Baltimore.

MEC is a managed eye-care corporation that contracts with HMOs to provide total vision services to the HMO members.

Motorola buys land in Va.

Motorola Inc. said yesterday that it bought 230 acres about 20 miles west of Richmond, Va., to build a previously announced $3 billion semiconductor plant.

Construction should begin by the end of the year in Goochland, Va., and production should begin in 1998, with as many as 5,000 jobs filled within 10 years.


Dow Corning wins extension

Dow Corning Corp. won a six-month extension of its exclusive period to present a plan of reorganization, rebuffing lawyers for silicone breast implant claimants who wanted to speed up the process.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Spector in Bay City, Mich., granted Dow Corning's request for an extension yesterday. Dow Corning said it needed the extra time to develop a plan to pay off claims from thousands of women who say their breast implants made them ill.

Sales of Windows 95 drop

Sales of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 fell sharply in stores during its second week of availability, analysts and executives said yesterday.

Through retailers, Microsoft sold $30 million worth of Windows 9on its first day, Aug. 24, according to PC Data, a software market research firm in Reston, Va. That fell to $7 million by the following Sunday, rose again last week and fell to $5.5 million last Sunday.