Calgary Herald from Calgary, Alberta, Alberta, Canada on December 12, 1983 · 64
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Calgary Herald from Calgary, Alberta, Alberta, Canada · 64

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Calgary, Alberta, Alberta, Canada
Issue Date:
Monday, December 12, 1983
Page:
64
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F4 CALGARY HERALD Mon., Dec. 12, 1983 Novelist makes his microchips dance in French Canadian Press Pierre Turgeon, president of firm dominating Quebec French-language software market MONTREAL (CP) Pierre Turgeon, whose fledgling Montreal computer software and book publishing company is doing a booming business, has visions of microchips dancing in his head. Turgeon, 35, whose thriller novel The First Person won him the Governor General's Award for fiction in 1981, hopes to turn his fantasy world into fact. "I dream of narrative circuits capable of inventing stories, all stories, and printing them with a laser beam at the rate of 100,000 words a second," Turgeon writes in his thriller. Turgeon is president of Les Editions le Nordais Logiciel Inc., which publishes novels, a dozen consumer guide magazines and about 40 computer programs through a complex link of company divisions. Formed last February, Logiciel not only publishes original French software but is cashing in on the proliferating United States microcomputer industry by translating software into French for distribution in Quebec and foreign markets. Turgeon predicts Logiciel's first-year sales will top $10 million but profits will be held down initially because of some ' costly investments. He says he expects profits later will total half of sales. The firm has already captured between 60 and 70 per cent of Quebec's software market, distributing programs in various computer languages for word processing, accounting systems, video games and education. It has the only French voice-synthesizer program used to teach children the language. Logiciel's distribution arm in North America is Logiglobe. Along with Logidisque Inc., a Montreal software producer, Turgeon says Logiglobe has become a leading world distributor of French-language programs. Turgeon hopes to boost the role of software production in his company, as profits from software publishing run between 45 and 50 per cent of sales after production costs, compared with 25 per cent in book publishing. "Books can be software in a few years from now," says Turgeon, a former journalist who then spent 10 years in book publishing. Last February, he broke away from Les Editions le Nordais, a Quebec consumer magazine publisher which helped launch his company with a $500,000-investment. The Quebec govenment kicked in a $250,-000 loan at an interest rate of one-half the prime. Turgeon brought from Le Nordais most of his 30-member staff and a small army of novelists whom he publishes under the Primeur label for the Quebec market, and Le Nordais-Sand, which distributes Pri-meur's books in Paris. He has also acquired the rights to translate, among others, Peter Newman's True North: Not Strong and Free. Logiglobe director Dominique Lannier says software distribution in Canada has spread to 150 retailers. The largest market is Montreal, followed by Quebec City, Edmonton and Vancouver. Logiciel last June reached an agreement with Houghton Mifflin Canada to translate and update its English school texts to software. A bilateral agreement with GIE Matra Hachette of France gives that conglomerate entry into the North American market with its French-language software, while it distributes Logiciel's products to European markets. This fall Logiciel also obtained exclusive rights to translate programs by Peachtree, a leading U.S. micro-software manufacturer with estimated sales of $21 million this year. News of the company's burgeoning success may have reached as far as California's Silicon Valley. "Big American companies are interested in making investments," he says, refusing to elaborate. Meanwhile, Turgeon's priori ties include capturing a larger share of the Quebec market by acquiring other companies and negotiating loans to defray the "considerable costs" involved in the Peachtree deal. The Quebec government .is eager to help because the province is two to three years behind English Canada in publishing software, he says. Turgeon is also busy as president of a newly formed Software Publishers Association comprised of five publishing houses which advise the Quebec government on its plans to introduce computers into the school system. He spends some of his little remaining time co-authoring a long-distance thriller novel to Los Angeles using a telephone modem on his IBM Personal Computer. But most of his time now is spent shuttling back and forth from Paris on business and thinking up plans for the future. "I'm making an appointment with robots for the 1990s," he says with a smile. "I want to program their character in French. It's not science fiction any more." TCPL stock takes jump to $31.50 (Financial Times) TORONTO Shares of TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. jumped nine per cent to $31.50 last week, putting the firm in Financial Times Winners and Losers, a weekly list of stocks with significant price changes on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Winners were: Mascan Corp. (close $11, up $1.75 or 19 per cent). Trading in Mascan resumed following Hammerson Property Investment and Development Corp. PLC's takeover offer of the previous week. TransCanada PipeLines Inc. (close $31.50, up $2.63 or nine per cent). Bell Canada is offering $31.50 a share for all of TransCanada PipeLines Ltd., an offer that TransCanada's directors claim is too low. They have increased the dividend rate by 37 per cent and have proposed a two-for-one stock split. Trizec Corp. Ltd. (close $42.25, up $3 or eight per cent). Calgary-based Trizec plans to split its common shares into three new classes. Each mm t. bv. 4 C8 jj 8 MX MrS ft a w w n-i ft W tt. a w !i is m t to tl!A m wm iK w its.'nv n t 1t p Ml JhHB , Winners ami Losers existing common share will be split into one class A share with one vote, one class B share with five votes, and one-tenth of a preferred share. Losers were: Banister Continental Ltd. (close $6.75, down $1.75 or 21 per cent). Trimac Ltd. said it won't exercise its option to buy 20 per cent of Banister Continental Ltd. at $12 a share. Banister shares recently moved up on speculation that the option would be exercised, triggering a follow-up offer to minority shareholders. Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. (close $31.50, down $1.50 or five per cent). The drop in Bell Canada shares indicates that some investors are disappointed about its takeover bid for TransCanada PipeLines. They had hoped that Bell would pursue a high-technology company. Northern Telecom Ltd. (close $52.12, down $4.13 or seven per cent). Some holders of Northern Telecom Ltd. are concerned that the company may lose some sales over the near term in the United States when American Telephone and Telegraph Co. liquidates some of its equipment. WORLD CRUDE OIL PRICES (Canadian dollars per barrel) TYPE OF CRUDE AND CURRENT PRICE PERCENT CHANGE IN CURRENT PRICE FROM COUNTRY API GRAVITY (2) PRICE DEC. 31 1978 DEC. 31 1 OPEC MEMBERS Saudi Arabia (Benchmark Crude) Arabian Light 34 $35.78 $15.04 137 United Arab Emirates Murban 39 $36.47 $15.70 132 Qatar Dukhan 40 $36.39 $15.62 132 Iran Iranian Light 34 $34.55 $15.17 127 Iraq Basrah Light 35 $36.81 $14.99 145 Kuwait Kuwait Blend 31 $33.68 $14.53 131 Algeria Saharan 44 $37.63 $16.70 125 Nigeria Bonny Light 37 $37.02 $16.70 121 Libya Es sider 37 $37.20 $16.20 129 Venezuela Tia Juana 26 $34.40 $15.06 128 Ecuador Oriente 30 534.79 $14.86 128 NON-OPEC United Kingdom Forties 36.5 $36.71 $16.58 121 Norway Ekofisk 42 $37.32 $16.82 121 Mexico Isthmus 32 $35.78 $15.51 130 U.S.S.R. Export Blend 33" $36.40 $15.63 132 United States West Texas Intermediate (3) $37.02 $17.59 110 Oklahoma Sweet $37.02 $17.88 107 Gulf Coast Sweet $37.02 S17.59 110 Canada Mixed Blend (5) $36.1 8 iiwpnei $13.15 175 $29.53 (coopi 124 Lloydminster Heavy $27.89,nofi) $12.08 150 Crude (7) $25.67 iccxw 107 APPENDIX 1. All prices are official sale prices as of December 9. 1983 or estimated term contract prices: spot prices are excluded. Quoted price is dominant in areas where there is more than one posting. U.S. and world prices provided by the federal dept. of energy, mines and resources and U.S. Dept. of Energy. Foreign prices are fob (free on board) at port of loading, except for Soviet Union, which is delivered price to northwest Europe. Current prices for foreign and U.S. oil translated to Canadian from U.S. dollars using exchange rate of $1.2340. Prices as of Dec. 31. 1978 use exchange rate of $1.1920. 2. API gravity is a universally-accepted American Petroleum Institute measurement of oil quality. Higher degree ratings mean less viscosity and higher quality. 3. U.S. prices are free market prices at the wellhead. 4. Canadian prices provided by the Energy, Mines and Resources department. 5. Mixed blend is 38 degrees API and 0.5 to 0.7 percent sulphur. 6. NOFP is the new oil field price for oil discovered after December 31. 1973. COOP means the conventional old oil price for oil discovered before January 1. 1974. 7. Lloydminster heavy crude is 14 degrees API and has 3.8 per cent sulphur. Canada-U.S. talks on ideas for free trade open today WASHINGTON (CP) Talks on Canada's proposal for free trade agreements with the United States in specific industrial sectors are scheduled to open here Monday and government officials report a cautious approach on both sides. Canadian officials say they want to discuss the general idea of sectoral free trade and will single out two industrial sectors, steel and urban mass transit equipment, for initial detailed talks. American officials say they regard everything they have heard about the proposal as too general for the government here to get much specific reaction from American industry. But the first impression in the industries mentioned by Canada is not very enthusiastic, they said. Officials on both sides said in background comments that there is enthusiasm about the principle of the proposal, liberalizing trade. State Secretary George Shultz and White House trade representative William Brock have endorsed the proposal by Gerald Regan, Canada's international trade minister, on the basis of the general principle. But Canadian officials are not so certain the Americans will embrace specific proposals. Regan has mentioned several sectors as possible targets of free trade agreements. But Canadian officials are starting with steel and mass urban transit equipment to get an initial reaction. Other sectors mentioned by Regan, including textiles and clothing, petrochemicals and red meat, "are not ripe yet," a Canadian official said. In both cases, industrywide studies are under way and the government does not want to begin any negotiations before they are finished. Free trade agreements would eliminate or reduce barriers such as tariffs and quotas. About 85 per cent of Canada's exports to the United States are duty free and about 65 per cent of its imports from the United States are duty free. Asked to characterize chances of progress, a Canadian official said "whether we'll get a reaction which totally turns us off is no higher than 50-50?' Americans emphasized the talks are discussions, not negotiations, but also suggested no progress will be made unless the Canadians have very detailed plans to put forward. They also said there are international hurdles that must be overcome if the two countries do reach some agreements and they hope the Canadians have decided how that would be handled. A Canadian official said Canada will propose to get waivers for any agreements under international trade rules of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Such a waiver was obtained for establishment of the Canada-United States auto pact in the mid-1960s. The fact that the proposal has remained general during the two months since it was first announced has fuelled some skepticism about it among American officials. Distillers claim taxes harmful MONTREAL (CP) Canadian distillers say they are tired of being used as cash cows for revenue-hungry governments, and that so-called sin taxes on their products are harming them. The result of an indexed federal excise tax and huge provincial markups on liquor are distilleries operating at 45 per cent of bottling capacity, they say. Sales will fall about nine per cent this year and more than 2,000 jobs have been lost since 1980. The companies are stepping up a campaign to persuade politicians to review their fixation on taxing spirits. About 62,000 shareholders of Hiram Walker Resources Ltd., parent of Hiram Walker-Gooderham and Worts Ltd., are being asked to sign and return protest letters that will be forwarded to federal and provincial politicians by the distillery's Walkerville, Ont., i.eadquarters. So far, says spokesman Frank Ternan, 4,000 signed forms have been returned and the campaign only started a few days ago. Seagram's Canadian shareholders were exorted in the company's last quarterly mailing to join what the dis'illers' trade association hopes will be growing public criticism of government liquor taxes. The Association of Canadian Distillers said sales of distilled spirits are down 7.61 per cent through the first nine months of the year after falling 5.34 per cent in 1982. None of the major distillers is a candidate for a charity drive, but they all say liquor is becoming a smaller share of overall earnings. Seagram has increased its wine holdings in the United States and has branched into soft drinks. Payments increase in value TORONTO (CP) The value of cheques and other payments processed through deposit accounts at Canadian chartered banks during October totalled $745.1 billion, up 14.7 per cent from $649.4 billion a year ago. But the Canadian Bankers Association notes that the figures do not reflect total changes in the economy because cheques drawn on the Bank of Canada and the federal government are not included. 300O 2900 2800 2700' 26001 250O 240O: 2300 : 2200 Toronto stock exchange index 300 a 1 v Uf rN July November Dec 9 2531.98 December J-510 490H Montreal industrial index -470- , I Dec. 9 I 1 1442.501 -410- -390- July-November December Stock indexes down in week Both the Toronto Stock Exchange 300 index and the Montreal industrial index fell les week. At Friday's close the TSE 300 index stood at 2531.98, down 18.23 from the previous week's dose. The Montreal industrial index was down 10.78 to finish at 442.50.

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