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In a few further matters arising from IBM’s annual meeting in Richmond, Virginia Monday (CI No 916), holders overwhelmingly rejected strident calls for the company to stop selling products to its former South African subsidiary; chairman John Akers said that further share buyback plans remained under review but that no decision had been made; IBM hoped to be able to raise the dividend again soon – it last went up, by 7.3%, in 1985; there are no plans for another early retirement programme although redeployment will continue, and another 12,000 people are likely to be hired this year, about the same as in 1987; and in (shrinking) dollar terms, sales last year rose 30% in Japan, 19% in Italy, and 17% in Mexico.

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