News In Brief

After failing in March to buy US insurance giant Aetna, the Dutch financial group ING is in talks to buy only a part of the company - its profitable financial-services and international divisions. CNBC, the cable-TV business network, reported ING could pay as much as $9 billion for the units. Together with a smaller US partner, ING offered $10 billion for all of Aetna in March. If the current negotiations materialize into a transaction, Aetna would be able to focus on fixing its troubled managed-care business.

One of the proudest but most financially troubled businesses in South Korea was engulfed in a major drama as the founding family of Hyundai Group said it would sell more than $3 billion worth of assets and turn over control to professional managers, effective immediately. But the move was complicated by Chung Mong-ku, chairman of its automaking division, who defied the wishes of his father, Chung Ju-yung, and announced he wouldn't step down. The younger Chung said he had not been consulted in advance and had a vote of confidence from Hyundai Motor Co.'s board of directors. Hyundai Group, the country's largest conglomerate, plans to reduce from 59 companies to 21 by the end of the year.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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