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No. 363, December 1999

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Japanese Companies in the US


For the last 13 years, TIFFANY & CO. has leased its flagship store at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan from DAIICHI REAL ESTATE CO., LTD. Now, the 10-story, 124,000-square-foot building, which was designed and built specifically for the luxury jeweler in 1940, is back in Tiffany hands. The company paid $96 million in cash for the property. The former Japanese owner said that it decided to sell to improve its financial position. Although the price Daiichi Real Estate paid for the building in October 1986 was not disclosed, executives indicated that it was about the same as the selling price. That makes the company fortunate compared with many other Japanese investors. In general, American commercial properties bought in the late 1980s and early 1990s have been sold at a loss.

Beating out two other bidders, including another Japanese team, SUMITOMO CORP. and partner MI-TSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD. won a $109 million contract to build an automated people mover system at AMERICAN AIRLINES INC.'s new North Terminal at the Miami International Airport. The project, scheduled for completion in 2004, includes design, engineering, construction, vehicles and a closed-circuit television monitoring system. Featuring MHI's unmanned train technology, the 0.8-mile-long system will have four station stops and will carry as many as 74,000 people a day between AA's 47 North Terminal gates, ticketing and baggage areas. Sumitomo and MHI initially will deliver 11 trains with two rubber-wheeled cars each. Up to 20 trains could be in operation if demand requires. The partners will be working with eight Miami-area companies.

An exchange rate of ¥105=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaa

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