IMPORT BRIEFS

IMPORT BRIEFS

Minebea's US Unit

Forms New CompanyCHATSWORTH, Calif. - NMB (USA) Inc., a subsidiary of Minebea Co. of Tokyo, this week announced the formation of NMB Technologies Inc., a new subsidiary in Chatsworth, Calif.

NMB Technologies Inc. will focus specifically on marketing electronic devices for the high-technology marketplace in North America.

Products include high-speed semiconductor DRAMs, hybrid integrated circuits, switching power supplies, computer keyboards, speakers, inductors, buzzers, DC servo and step motors and AC and DC tube-axial cooling fans.

NMB (USA) Inc. is the North American headquarters and operating center for the Minebea Group of companies. It includes NMB Technologies Inc., New Hampshire Ball Bearing and IMC Magnetics Corp.

The new company in California merges NMB Audio Research Corp., NMB Semiconductor Corp., NMB Hi-Tek Corp. and IMC Components Corp.

Ivory Coast May Make

Payment to Cocoa Fund

LONDON - The Ivory Coast's delegate to the International Cocoa Organization's talks here declined to comment Thursday afternoon on market speculation that the Ivory Coast will pay its $30 million debts to the ICCO buffer stock fund after being granted an IMF loan of 176.75 million special drawing rights. (1 SDR equals - $1.3586)

At the same time, Brazilian delegate Lindenberg Sette denied rumors that Brazil will not pay its arrears of $6 million. The rumors were complete nonsense, and Brazil intends to fulfill its obligations to the buffer stock fund, he said.

Discussion of supplementary cocoa price support schemes began Thursday afternoon with a working group looking at possible alternatives to the ICCO's stock withholding scheme.

Consumer delegates said it is unlikely to find alternatives to the stock scheme, which allows for a maximum of 120,000 metric tons of cocoa to be withheld from the market.

Australians, Japanese

Plan US Battery Plant

HONG KONG - Australia's Pacific Dunlop Ltd. and Japan Storage Battery Co. Ltd. will establish an automotive battery manufacturing plant in the United States, the companies said Thursday.

The plant, to be built in Tennessee, will produce about 1 million lead-acid batteries a year for the U.S. original equipment and replacement markets. About US$2 million will be spent on new equipment for the factory. The plant's total assets will be worth about US$14 million.

Jamaica, Alcoa Settle

Operations Dispute

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The government of Jamaica and Pittsburgh-based Aluminum Co. of America settled a dispute over Alcoa's operations in the Caribbean island, the two sides announced Thursday.

Under the new arrangements, Jamaica will become a 50 percent owner of the joint venture between its state-owned company and Alcoa.

Clarendon Alumina Production Ltd., Jamaica's state-owned entity, and Alcoa Minerals of Jamaica Inc. currently operate a production joint venture in Clarendon, Jamaica. Prior to the new agreement, Jamaica had a 6 percent interest in the Jamalco venture, and Alcoa Minerals held the remaining 94 percent.

Alcoa will continue to provide its expertise as manager under the new terms.

Diamond Council Plans

Trade Talks With US

ANTWERP, Belgium - Belgium's Diamond High Council, the official representative of the Belgian diamond trade and industry, said it will send a delegation to the United States this month to discuss trade relations and exchange market and product information.

The United States is Belgium's biggest trade partner in diamonds, taking some 50 percent of the country's exports.

Belgian diamond exports to the United States, including rough, polished and industrial diamonds, increased in 1987 by 2.05 percent in volume and 10 percent in value, the council said. The same year, almost 2 million carats of polished diamonds worth over $1 billion were exported to the United States, the council said.

The delegation is expected to be in Chicago on March 22 and in Philadelphia on March 24.