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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California • Page 17
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California • Page 17

Location:
San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Page:
17

Tue.day, June 29, 1993 B-l Markets at a glance Tuesday's closing figures. Scammer Linda Holson- backisnow VP of managed care operations and HMO administration for Blue Shield of California. IB-2 1 DOW AVERAGE 3,518.85 SIP 500 450.68 30-YEAR T-BONDS 6.67 0.00 Mm 1 rad sssc Itays 31 terns 35 warn a 22-story -tower near i I purchase of the sleek but half-emp-ty tower breaks a recent streak of multimillion-dollar purchases of downtown towers by Far East investors. ust south of Mission Street, the building sits in part on a ground lease, so property professionals had not expected it to sell for more than $20 million. The seller, Kentucky Central Life Insurance took over the 4-year-old property from a Kentucky developer that paid more than $35 million worth although the climb has been rocky. Oracle's stock price has more than tripled in the past year as sales of the company's relational database products continue to surge. The company's sales are expected to exceed $1.2 billion in the fiscal year that ended May 31. Record profits are expected for the final three months of the fiscal year. The company will report earnings See MONEY TALKS, B-5 to build it. Miner is a senior vice president and a director of Oracle. He is the company's second largest shareholder, according to a 1992 proxy statement from the Redwood Shores company. His 6 percent stake in the 16-year-old company is worth about $400 million, according to publicly available figures. The company could not confirm Miner's current stake. As Oracle's prospects have brightened, so has Miner's net Half-empty tower costs $23 million OFTWARE magnate Robert N. Miner, a co-founder of database software developer Oracle Systems surprised the property colony by paying $23 million for a San Francisco skyscraper. Miner bought 135 Main Street, Bays Blue Shield merger plan Two of California's largest health care companies, San Francisco-based Blue Shield of California and Burbank-based UniHealth America, have proposed a merger to form one of the state's biggest nonprofit managed care companies. The merged Blue Shield of California and UniHealth would serve more than 4.5 million people and would have combined revenues of more than $6.5 billion and total assets of more than $2 billion, the companies said. Under the proposal Blue Cross of California would maintain its identity and its affiliation with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, the companies said. But a UniHealth America spokeswoman said the official name of the new entity had not been decided. Macy's May sales were nearly flat R.H. Macy Co. reports essentially flat store-for-store sales in May, blaming a weak economy its big markets in California and the East. Revenue rose 3.6 percent from May 1992, the retailer reported, but sales at stores open more than a year, considered a more meaningful measure, rose only 0.1 percent. "The strongest sales growth continued to be in Florida, Texas, Georgia and other Southern markets," Macy's said. "California sales remained lackluster." Western employers pay more than U.S. average Private emDlovers in the West 1 the Trans-bay Terminal. The deal is a large one, coming as it does amid a three-year slump for THOM CALANDRA TALKS U.S. urban office properties. The San Francisco resident's I i IS 1 i. A 1' a uov. niiMnf speamng ai ine Kaove MONEY ('II 1 i f' ft: 1, I 1 I 4 uar museum ine iiiy, announces a I IX ml. ST, I 1 Lawsuit protests groiTth hormone Critics want NIH to stop controversial drug trials By Sally Lehrman OF THE EXAMINER STAFF Federal experiments with human growth hormone needlessly risk children's psychological and physical health, alleged physicians and biotech activists in a suit aimed to halt renewed recruitment for the controversial studies. As the Examiner reported last month, the National Institutes of Health has resumed enrollment in clinical trials designed to make short but healthy children taller by giving them a genetically-engineered growth hormone. The agency authorized continu ation of the studies after two inde pendent panels concluded that increasingly widespread use of the drug to treat height made growth hormone an important public health issue. They defended the experiments on the grounds that unusual shortness was a pathological condition. The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the federal agencies in charge of the research, challenged the studies in 80 children who are not growth-hormone deficient, just very short The girls in one portion of the trials will on average stop growing at 4-foot-9 because they were born with Turner Syndrome, a genetic disease; the boys and girls in the other portion are completely healthy and would grow to up to 5-foot-6-inches as men or 5 feet tall as women. The critics of the studies argued in their suit that the agency was attempting to address societal dis crimination, not a medically recognized disease. They charged that the three shots a week, X-ray studies, magnetic resonance imaging and psychological monitoring the See HORMONE, B-4 Wilson plsns commission converting bases to help i Giving retirement funds short shrift By Thorn Calandra OF THE EXAMINER 8TAFF Bay Area baby boomers are living in a financial fog when it comes to planning for retirement. Although the local 30-to-50 set has the highest median salary for its age group in the nation, these baby boomers are saving less for retirement than their counterparts around the country, according to a new survey. Bay Area boomers are saving only $1,800 a year while making $53,500 a year. Their counterparts outside the region, who make $51,600, are saving $2,600 or 44 percent more. (All figures are median levels.) But Northern Californians shouldn't feel too inferior. Most financial planners would say that neither savings pattern is enough in today's world of soaring household expenses. Several recent studies, one from a Princeton University economist, concluded that a married couple should have at least $500,000 in tax-deferred retirement savings by the time they turn 65. That means they should save $120,000 by age 45. "Most people just don't believe the disparity in what they need to set aside for retirement and what they are setting aside. Our survey reveals alarmingly deficient sav- ings habits of the Bay Area's 30- to 50-year-old generation," says Thomas Barnes, manager of Cor nerstone Financial Group in San Francisco. The financial planning group's parent, Phoenix Home Life of Connecticut, paid for the survey of 1,500 individuals, 77 of them from San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa See RETIREMENT, B-6 muz Li Bay Area (Median: $1,800) National (Median: $2,600) $10,000 Would 4,999 9,999 or more not answer Bay Area by YanKeMwicri Partners 1993 EXAMINER GRAPHICS i EXAMINER PAUL CHNN tourism campaign. ffc I them who had been convicted of crimes. "The costs are resented at a. time when they threaten to take health care from people who are residents," the governor said. "I think that is understandable (but) I don't think there is a xeno-i phobia" afflicting Californians. The governor later drove to the. Cable Car Museum at Mason andj Washington streets to kick off joint state-private business promo- tion in Japan of California tourism. In a $23 million campaign, underwritten primarily by Coca-Cola of Japan and United Airlines, with $150,000 from the state, the program will award 250 couples free week-long vacations: called the California Dream. According to John Poimiroo, dsputy secretary of tourism for the state, the ad blitz in Japan will stimulate consumer interest in vis-. iting the Golden State. Nearly 1 million Japanese tourists came here last year. Among 30-50-year-olds 30 i 25 20 A 15 10 -4 5- Don't $0 Less know than $2,000 NOTE: 1,500 surveyed in United States; 77 SOURCE: Phoenix Home Life Fitness Survey; Conducted in nounce plans to close a facility, remove personnel and payroll to new assignments, but then "padlock (the base) for 10 years while' they figure out how they are going to transfer it." "That is simply unacceptable," Wilson said during a luncheon speech to the Association of Area Business Publications, a national group of editors and publishers who report on the nation's private enterprises. "It is unfortunate that we lost these bases, but now we must con-; centrate our efforts on making them usable to the people," he said. During the question-and-an-swer session, the governor reiterated his displeasure with the federal government's mandate that California pay for schooling the child-, ren of those who had illegally immigrated. He said it cost the state's taxpayers $1 billion annually. Wilson also said the state paid between $900 million and $1 billion for medical expenses for undocumented immigrants and another $300 million to incarcerate those of grows up paid workers an average of $17.43 in wages and benefits in March 1993. This was 73 cents higher than the national average of $16.70, according to Sam Hirabay-ashi, regional commissioner of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics in San Francisco. Of the $17.43 per-hour total, 72 percent, or $12.55, was for wages and salaries. The remaining 28 percent, or $4.88 an hour, was for benefits. Compensation in the West was 10 percent below the $19.44 an hour average in the Northeast, but higher than averages of $14.81 in the South and $15.93 in the Midwest. Since 1988, total average compensation in the West has risen 19.5 percent, from $14.59 to $17.43. By comparison, the average national wage has increased 21 percent since 1988. Interest rates on Treasuries down Interest rates on short-term Treasury securities fell in Monday's auction to the lowest level in six weeks. The Treasury Department sold $12.3 billion in three-month bills at an average discount rate of 3.05 percent, down from 3.10 percent last week. Another $12.3 billion was sold in six-month bills at 3.14 percent, down from 3.19 percent. The new discount rates understate the actual return to investors 3.12 percent for three-month bills, with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,922.90, and 3.23 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,841.30. am Average discount interest rate on 3-month bills at the weekly auction 3.75 May June SOURCE: Treasury Dept. EXAMINER GRAPHICS 1 3-50 hmmmt 3.25 1 Says delay in turning posts to civilian use would be unacceptable By Dennis J. Opatmy OF THE EXAMINER 8TAFF Gov. Wilson has announced plans to create a state-level commission to help convert closed or abandoned California military bases to civilian purposes. The governor said Monday that the commission would work with local reuse commissions and the Pentagon in transforming the military installations into peaceful pursuits. "The state must insist that the. federal government go forward just' as rapidly as possible in releasing those bases," Wilson said, so that local agencies can begin planning for their new use. The governor said too often the federal government would an son and Ernst Young. Consultants from the two firms described industry trends in a luncheon speech Monday at their annual International Life Sciences Partnering Conference. At the meeting held in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, small to medium biotech companies presented their stories to executives from Belgium to Japan to Venezuela in the hopes of wooing a long-term relationship. Drug companies, in the midst of a major industry restructuring, are finding they urgently need the new, cost-effective drugs biotechnology hopes to provide. At the same time, their expenses for developing treatments have climbed. "Big pharma has a big pipeline Biotechnology industry problem," said Steven Burrill, international director of manufacturinghigh-technology industry services at the accounting firm Ernst Young. "Virtually all of the top 10-selling drugs in tie world go off patent in the next three to four years." And biotechnology companies, many flush with cash but spending it fast, need the stability that the drug industry can offer, Burrill said. A series of product disappointments, the uncertainty of health-care reform, regulatory unpredictability and other concerns have shaken biotechnology during the past year, spurring executives to hurry out of the lab and start See BIOTECH, B-6 Companies now forge alliances with pharmaceutical firms as equals By Sally Lehrman OF THE EXAMWEB STAFF Biotech is no longer the upstart child of the pharmaceutical industry. It's an adult partner, industry 'observers said. For the first time, biotechnology companies are forging sophisticated alliances with giant drug companies ties that Dut the two on equal footing, according to an ana- rysw cy Jirobeck, Phleger Harri COLO! rni in

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