News In Brief

The final OK was expected today from a five-member committee of the Federal Trade Commission for BP Amoco's takeover of Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO), sources familiar with the situation said. The FTC originally blocked the $27 billion deal because of antitrust concerns about oil output from Alaska, but BP Amoco gained favor by selling ARCO's Alaskan interests to Phillips Petroleum. That transaction, too, ran into trouble when Exxon Mobil - which also has operations in Alaska - filed a suit March 24, claiming a first right of refusal over the assets sold to Phillips. But discussions are under way to drop the lawsuit, an Exxon Mobil spokesman said.

The largest producer of crude oil and natural gas in China will cut another 7,000 jobs this year to satisfy investors in its new foreign-stock issue, reports from Beijing said. PetroChina Co. Ltd. already had laid off 1 million workers in preparation for the public offering, which raised almost $3 billion last week in Hong Kong and New York. But investors complained the remaining 480,000 workforce was still too big, Dow Jones Newswires said, citing a company official.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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