The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida on October 20, 1999 · 29
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The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida · 29

Miami, Florida
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 20, 1999
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CriT, P " 52 r ; 1 ; iTISKTnf'll S&P 500 1,261.32 STOCK INDEX 7.19 lip NASDAQ 2G8818 fflSIo, STOCKINDEX -.97 B0NDS 6-35 aa.b& u s 30-year -3 DOW HERALD' jig 20 30 INDUSTRIALS BLOOMBERG .43 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20,1999 t l 1 ! t yi .. t Pacific National placed on tight watch Banks health prompts worries BY INA PAIVA CORDLE Federal regulators have placed Miamis Pacific National Bank under .tighter supervision, while the Ecuadorean government has taken over the banks parent. Ecuadors banking superintendent said regulators have merged Banco del Pacifico the Brickell Avenue banks 98 percent owner into state-owned Banco Continental to prevent further weakening of the nations financial system. Ecuador is reeling from an economic crisis that has resulted in the governments takeover of 14 of 40 banks. The newly combined Banco Continental and Banco del Pacifico comprise 18 percent of the nations banking assets. The crisis continues to spill over to Miami, first leading to the sale of the former Ecuadorean majority-owned Republic National Bank of Miami in July, to a lawsuit and temporary freezing of Banco Popular del Ecuadors Miami agency assets last month, and now to Pacific National Bank. Pacific National was placed under an enforcement action by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Aug. 20, to protect the interests of the depositors, other customers, and shareholders, and to ensure that the bank is operating safely and soundly, according to the just-released report. I Regulators required that the bank boost its capital immediately, and 1 develop a three-year plan outlining ' sources of additional capital. Pacific National is also required to maintain sufficient liquidity. The agreement provides that regulators review the banks liquidity , every other week, which shows the bank is on a very short leash, said Miami banking analyst Ken Thomas. ! The Ecuadorean financial sec- tor is under a tremendous amount of 'pressure and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is j mindful how over time, maybe, it could adversely affect a U.S. bank Jand U.S. depositors," said Pacific 'National Bank director and attorney t I PLEASE SEE PACIFIC, 3C BARBARA HERNANDEZ HERALD STAFF BUILDING A BETTER BRAND NAME: The Target store on Northeast 213th Street in Aventura. Retailer aims to build a loftier brand identity by jim McCartney Knight Ridder News Service You wouldnt know that Target and Wal-Mart are archrivals in the discount retailing game by their television commercials, and thats just fine with Target. Wal-Mart ads feature a yellow smiley face bouncing around the store rolling back prices, the theme song of the old Rawhide TV series playing as happy customers and store employees look on. Target shows off hip young men and women grooving to Petula Clarks 60s hit Sign of the Times, their clothing and surroundings saturated with the red Target bulls-eye logo. What could be more dramatic in showing their differences? said Dean Ramos, a securities analyst with George K. Baum & Co. Target says theyre a cool place to go; Wal-Mart says theyre a place to go to save money. Target has always brought a department store feel to its more than 890 discount outlets, but lately its cultivating that perception in its brand identity. Its blitz has included high-fashion ad layouts and an extensive line of proprietary products, ranging from tea kettles to lip liners. The strategy is key to fueling growth at Target, PLEASE SEE TARGET, IOC . BARBARA HERNANDEZ HERALD STAFF TARGETING FAMILIES: 15-month-old Mario Aristizabal waits at Target while his mother shops. Troubled insurance firm to reorganize Parent to control HIP of Florida BY MICHELE CHANDLER HIP Health Plan of Florida, which has lost $8.1 million so far this year, will return to the control of its New York parent as part of a reorganization designed to streamline operations and reduce costs. Steven Cohen, chief executive of HIPs Florida operations since 1992, resigned as part of the reorganization, which will include cutting about 3 percent of the 900-member Florida work force. About 30 administrative jobs are being cut, but no customer service positions will be affected, said HIP Health spokesman Ronald Maiorana. Departments to be consolidated and run from New York include finance, medical management, information systems, marketing, customer service and medical underwriting. Anthony Watson, HIP Floridas chairman, will assume the additional title of chief executive. David Aber-nethy, senior vice president, was named HIP Floridas executive director. The moves come as HIP has seen its financial performance erode. During the first half of the year, HIPs Florida plan lost $8.1 million, according to the Florida Department of Insurance. That compares with earnings of $87,517 last year and $1.2 million in 1997, state records show. HIPs New York parent has had to infuse $15.5 million into its Florida subsidiary during the past few months to ensure that it meets state-mandated reserve requirements. The parent firms of other out-of-state HMOs also have infused money into their Florida subsidiaries for the same reason. The Florida plan, based in Hollywood, ran into trouble after medical costs rose faster than expected, driven by rising medicine prices and richer payment contracts negotiated by hospitals in the HMO networks. HIP Floridas medical costs began rising late last year and have continued in 1999. But the premiums HIP Florida collected fell short, in some I PLEASE SEE HIP, 3G Wrestling, Martha Stewart in IPOs t BY SETH SUTEL Associated Press ; NEW YORK Would Martha Stewart stand a t chance against Stone Cold Steve Austin? It might be ' a one-sided bout in the wrestling ring, but on Wall Street, Martha is proving to be a contender. Companies associated with Ms. Stewart and pro ' wrestling both had hugely successful initial public offerings Tuesday, richly rewarding entrepreneurs J who have succeeded in capturing devoted audiences t through TV, magazines, the Internet and merchan-I dising. Its hard to imagine those audiences having much in common unless gladiator-esque titans like The Rock start donning aprons and baking Christmas 1 cookies but investors seem to agree that both ' companies offer tremendous value. Shares of both World Wrestling Federation Enter- tainment Inc. and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. soared well above their offering prices in heavy , trading, though both ended off their highs for the day. I Ms. Stewart rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, a privilege often offered to ex- ecutives bringing their companies public. What fol-' lowed was a frenzy to buy up shares in her company. - Omnimedias shares ended at $35.622, off from I their high of $49.50 but nearly double the offering I PLEASE SEE WALL STREET, 3C t RICHARD DREWAP UNLIKELY PAIR: Martha Stewart, with NYSE President William Johnston. Below, Stone Cold Austin, part of World Wrestling. JIM VARSALIONEHerald Staff Investors tune to Radio Unica; shares climb 72 during IPO BY GREGG FIELDS It didnt quite capture the attention of Martha Stewart or the World Wrestling Federation, but the initial public offering of Miamis homegrown Radio Unica did quite nicely Tuesday, with shares rising 72 percent their first day of trading. Nice run-up, huh? said Steve Dawson, chief financial officer. Radio Unica is a national Span-ish-language radio network, heavy on newstalk and sports programming. Many of its hosts come' from Spanish-language television, such as Pedro Sevcec. The company also has acquired Spanish-language radio rights to the summer Olympics in 2000 and 2004, the NBA finals and next years Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Radio Unica went public at $16, which was on the high end of the $14-$16 range it expected. The firm increased the offering to 6.84 million shares from 5.7 million, representing roughly 29 percent of its equity. The company netted $109.4 million from the sale. The money will go toward acquiring more stations, repaying debt and other corporate purposes, the company said. At the end of the day. Radio Unica shares closed at $27.43. That would give company a market value exceeding $600 millioa Radio Unica stock outperformed stock in the World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, which rose about 48 percent, but it paled next to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which nearly doubled in value in its first day of trading. Radio Unica was formed in 1996 by Joaquin Blaya, the former president of Univision Holdings, which owns the leading Spanish-language television network. Although it is not profitable. Radio Unica attracted attention on Wall Street. In addition, its concept of a national Spanish-language radio network is a new one. Radio Unica owns 13 stations, including WNMA (1210 AM) in Miami, and has 36 affiliate stations. Radio Unica shares trade on Nasdaq under the symbol UNCA. STOCKHAARMtT STOCKS CLIMB, led by drug-makers Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, after they reported profit that beat estimates. Financial shares also gained, 5C TECHNOLOGY IBM IS PULLING its money-losing line of PCs from retail stores in the United States and will sell them exclusively over the Internet in a drastic move to cut costs, 4C t - - BELLSOUTH AGREES TO PAY $125,000 to settle state complaints that the company takes too long to reconnect disrupted service or to provide a live receptionist, 3C 1 ; EDITOR: DAVIDSATTERFIELp dsatterfieldherald.con 305-376-4525 op 954-764j;7026 ext. 4525 P 1

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