Originally created 07/29/99

Additional business news



Railroads begin restoring service

WASHINGTON -- After weeks of widespread disruptions, the two railroads that spent two years planning how best to carve up Conrail's freight routes finally are showing signs of restoring reliable service.

David Goode, chairman and chief executive of Norfolk Southern Corp., said Wednesday his company is spending heavily to resolve the logistical woes caused by the June 1 takeover, with CSX Corp., of Conrail.

Computer coding errors and other setbacks have led to shipping delays that could mean higher prices for some consumer goods.

Saturn slips in satisfaction poll

DETROIT -- Saturn buyers were less satisfied with their dealers than customers of five other automotive franchises, which ousted Saturn from the top position in the annual J.D. Power and Associates study of automotive sales satisfaction for the first time in five years.

Cadillac, Jaguar and Volvo tied for first place, followed by Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz. Saturn finished in a tie with BMW and Lexus, according to the market-research firm.

Saturn, the small-car unit of General Motors Corp., apparently fell out of the top spot because more customers were feeling pressured during the purchase of their new car.

Euro rebounds in recent weeks

BERLIN -- Since its inception, Europe's new single currency mostly has headed in one direction -- down -- prompting hand-wringing from European politicians and central bankers about the fate of their grand experiment in fiscal and political unity.

But in just a couple weeks, the euro has bounced back from a low of almost $1.01 to top $1.07, spurred largely by signs that Germany -- Europe's biggest economy -- finally is emerging from its economic doldrums.

Charter to sell stocks to public

ST. LOUIS -- Charter Communications Inc., the quick-growing cable TV company controlled by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, plans to raise $3.45 billion by selling stock to the public.

The initial public offering is expected to take place in the third quarter and will be coordinated by the investment bank Goldman Sachs & Co., Charter said Wednesday.

IMF approves billions for Russia

WASHINGTON -- The International Monetary Fund approved a $4.5 billion financial package for Russia Wednesday aimed at helping to keep the country afloat through December parliamentary elections and presidential voting scheduled for June 2000.

A total of $640 million would be made available immediately, said an IMF spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of anonymity.