News In Brief

Albertson's, the No. 2 US supermarket chain, will close 165 stores in 25 states and consolidate some divisions as part of a plan to reduce costs, senior executives said. The Boise, Idaho-based grocer also plans to eliminate up to 20 percent of managerial and administrative jobs.

Three more makers of semiconductors announced they'll deal with sluggish demand by a combination of production cutbacks and layoffs. South Korea's Hynix, the world's third-largest chipmaker, said it will close its Eugene, Ore., plant for six months, idling 600 workers. Fujitsu Ltd. of Japan will reduce output at its Gresham, Ore., plant from the 60 percent of capacity to as low as 10 percent. Mitsubishi Electric, also of Japan, said it will close three plants for 10 days each next month.

Almost $370 million will be invested over the next two years to help keep troubled Sabena Airlines in business under a deal between its joint owners, the Belgian government and Swissair Group. Swissair will provide 60 percent of the new funding. In return, Swissair is released from a commitment to raise its stake in Sabena from 49 percent to 85 percent.

In layoff news:

* American Express said it will slash up to more 5,000 jobs. Earlier this year, the company announced 1,600 layoffs.

* Textron Inc., maker of Cessna planes, Bell helicopters, and golf carts, announced an additional 1,600 job cuts, bringing its total to 5,000 this year. The Providence, R.I.-based conglomerate is selling some automotive units and closing 28 manufacturing plants as well.

* Coca-Cola Enterprises, the world's No. 1 Coke bottler, said it will cut 2,000 jobs in North America.

* HypoVereinsbank, Germany's second-largest, will cut 8,000 jobs over the next two years, a monthly business magazine reported, citing internal company sources.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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