Directors of the nation's largest pension fund voted 7 to 5, with one abstention, to sell off more than $560 million in tobacco stocks. The move by the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) was aimed at reducing exposure to risk from lawsuits filed against the cigarette industry. The industry's stocks, however, have been performing well over the past year, an analyst with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter said. Other states were unlikely to follow CalPERS's lead, analysts said.
Verizon, the nation's largest wireless telephone company, said it will delay its $5 billion initial public offering in view of recent market volatility. It's the most prominent deal yet to be put on hold because of stormy conditions on Wall Street. Analysts speculated that the IPO, which is to raise money to expand and upgrade Verizon's network, would remain sidelined until next year.
By unanimous votes, the directors of Marvell Technology Group and Israel's Galileo Technology Ltd. OK'd a $2.7 billion merger. The stock-swap deal is designed to give Marvell, a leading maker of integrated circuits, the ability to offer full-service packages for the next generation of network data transmission. Galileo sells complex silicon-based digital communications systems worldwide. Marvell's headquarters are in Hamilton, Bermuda, with a semiconductor subsidiary in Sunnyvale, Calif.
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