BUSINESS NEWS FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2004
Convergys in big deal to serve Sprint
A day after its stock took a hit on investor fears of competition, Cincinnati's Convergys Corp. said it is teaming up with IBM to provide customer care for Sprint Corp. in one of the largest business outsourcing deals of its kind.

ZF sells Batavia stake
Ford Motor Co. confirmed Wednesday it is reacquiring sole ownership of its Batavia transmission plant as part of a new push to boost car sales and profits.

Erpenbeck jail time debated
With his sentencing for bank fraud eight weeks away, Bill Erpenbeck and the federal prosecutors who negotiated his guilty plea are about 30 years apart on what constitutes a suitable prison term for the former homebuilder.

Peale: UC promoting itself through new ads
Hoping to burnish its own reputation and attract more students, the University of Cincinnati has spent $250,000 so far on its biggest advertising campaign in several years.

Business people
Promotions & new on the job.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
Outlook for retirees' benefits is bleaker
NEW YORK - Workers expect employers to cut more of their retirement benefits - and three-quarters of companies have either done so or plan to, a new survey says.
Convention bureau to focus on 'Cincinnati First'
DOWNTOWN - Cincinnati's convention bureau should do a better job of landing lucrative conventions and trade meetings by focusing its efforts exclusively on Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
Legal help boosts Cincinnati Financial earnings
Good news on the legal front helped Cincinnati Financial Corp. more than double its fourth-quarter earnings.
Home-store operation melding expected to help Macy's stores
Federated Department Stores has announced plans to consolidate its Macy's home store operations, including the home departments at all Lazarus-Macy's stores, eliminating an undetermined number of jobs nationwide, company officials said Wednesday.
Broker's aide tells of Stewart's stock sale
NEW YORK - An "extremely upset" Martha Stewart ordered all her ImClone Systems stock sold after she learned the company founder was dumping his own shares, the prosecution's star witness testified Wednesday.
Chinese offered credit cards
SHANGHAI, China - Citibank joined with a local bank to offer a foreign-branded credit card aimed at the fast-growing ranks of newly affluent Chinese who are just beginning to awaken to the possibilities of paying with plastic.
Dec. factory orders surge 1.1%, exceeding expectations
WASHINGTON - America's factories saw orders rebound in December, rising by a strong 1.1 percent, a fresh sign that the national economy's recovery was in full stride as it headed into the new year.
Oracle sweetens PeopleSoft bid to $26
SAN FRANCISCO - Business software maker Oracle Corp. raised its hostile takeover bid for rival PeopleSoft Inc. by 33 percent to $26 a share Wednesday, setting the stage for more drama in the high-tech soap opera.
Business digest

Business Summary

SPECIAL COVERAGE
Special Report: P&G's Russian Frontier
In a three-day series, The Enquirer's Cliff Peale reports from Russia on Procter & Gamble's manufucturing and marketing drive there and the implications for Greater Cincinnati.
SUNDAY STORIES:
Booming market bears potential and challenge
It's not like Kroger: 'Stores' make selling a challenge
New economy holds instability and risk
Overseas sales have big impact back home
MONDAY STORIES:
Making cleaning products, two worlds meet
Q&A: Former dancer takes giant leap
TUESDAY STORIES:
Europe teaches lessons about style
Vanity products are a gamble for Procter

Erpenbeck archive
A. William Erpenbeck spent years building a company that appears to be crumbling. One of the Tristate's biggest home builders, the Erpenbeck Co., is under federal investigation for a suspected bank fraud that is affecting lenders, subcontractors and home ownars. Click here for links to all Enquirer reports.