A CATO FAMILY AFFAIR: W.H. Cato Jr. Revocable Trust and Cato Family Investments, a limited partnership managed by Wayland Cato Jr., 79, a founder and chairman of Cato Corp., plans to sell up to 1 million shares of the firm’s Class A common stock, or approximately 19 percent of its holdings in the firm, through Banc of America Securities. The sale follows a similar divestiture of 1.2 million shares in December and relates to Cato’s estate planning. Excluding shares represented in the plan, the trust and limited partnership hold about 44 percent of the voting power of the firm’s common stock.

BUSH — WE BUY FROM YOU, ARGENTINA: President George Bush, opting for trade instead of financial aid, last week granted trade benefits to Argentina, which is suffering its worst-ever economic crisis. The White House gave duty-free access to 57 types of imports from Argentina, including jewelry and leather products under the Generalized System of Preferences program, which does not include textiles or apparel. The U.S. said it might give duty-free privileges to additional products, including textiles, if it can settle a long-running dispute over Argentine patent laws on pharmaceuticals. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative plans to hold a hearing on Oct. 18. to consider granting additional duty-free treatment for 17 products from Argentina, the Philippines and Turkey. A decision on that is expected by Jan. 31, 2003.

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