News In Brief

the second-largest us mutual-fund firm announced plans to disclose after-tax returns on a broad range of its funds. The Vanguard Group will publish the data for 47 of the stock and balanced funds in its portfolio - to give investors a clearer picture of the funds' actual returns, company officials said. The move, which begins this week with release of Vanguard's US Growth Fund and International Growth Fund returns, is believed to be a first for the industry, although the information will not be personalized.

A three-way copper-industry merger that seemed set just last week was thrown into uncertainty as the directors of Asarco Inc. were to consider an upgraded takeover bid from a Mexican suitor. Grupo Mexico SA, which has been battling Phelps Dodge for control of the company, upped its offer from $1.03 billion to $1.17 billion. Phelps Dodge appeared to win when Asarco signed its $1.14 billion offer Oct. 5. If Asarco now opts to accept Grupo Mexico's bid instead, Phelps Dodge will have five days to respond. But it has indicated a higher offer will not be forthcoming. The acquisition of Asarco was to have completed Phelps Dodge's complex merger plans. On Sept. 30, the company signed a deal to take over Cyprus Amax Minerals Co.

Compiled by Robert Kilborn and Lance Carden

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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