News In Brief

The banque nationale de Paris (BNP) won a partial victory in its bid to create the world's first trillion-dollar bank - taking control of rival Paribas, but failing to get a majority vote at Socit Gnrale (SG). France's market regulator said BNP had won 65.2 percent of the Paribas votes and 65.1 percent of its capital, but only 31.5 percent of SG voting and 36.8 percent of its capital. BNP said this had given it "effective control" of SG. But analysts - calling it the worst possible result for the nation's banking industry - and said regulators would have the tough task this week of deciding whether BNP can push ahead with its ambitious project or whether SG should remain an independent bank.

US wholesale prices rose a modest 0.2 percent in July, as a huge jump in energy prices overwhelmed a sharp drop in food costs, the Labor Department reported. The increase in the producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, matched a 0.2 percent rise in May. Wholesale prices had actually fallen 0.1 percent in June, only the second decline this year. Nonetheless, the July increase was slightly lower than generally expected; many analysts had anticipated a 0.3 percent rise.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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