News In Brief

San Diego-based money-manager Nicholas-Applegate will be acquired by the world's second-largest insurance company, Allianz, for $2.2 billion, the latter said in Munich, Germany. Nicholas-Applegate, which has an estimated $45 billion under management, will continue to function under its own name. Last Oct. 31, Allianz paid a reported $3.3 billion for bond-fund manager Pimco Advisors Holdings of Newport Beach, Calif.

Bridgestone/Firestone will lay off 450 of 1,950 workers at its plant in Decatur, Ill., an announcement said. Decreased sales and high inventory following the August recall of 6.5 million tires, dictated the move, the company said. It added that production will be scaled back there and at factories in LaVergne, Tenn., and Oklahoma City.

The planned $12 billion merger between two of the largest electric utilities in Europe drew a warning from the Spanish government against dominating the market. Endesa SA of Madrid, with 10 million customers, already provides half of Spain's electricity. Bilbao-based Iberdrola SA generates about 30 percent. The companies said they'd try to win regulatory approval by selling off enough assets to allow three new competitors into the market.

Apparently satisfied with promises to bring order to volatile West Timor, donors awarded $5.3 billion in badly needed loans and grants to Indonesia. The Jakarta government also promised more attention to economic and judicial reforms already pledged to the International Monetary Fund. The new aid comes at a time when Indonesia's rupiah has lost 20 percent of its value in the past nine months.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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