Business & Finance

Signing the necessary documents that will usher China formally into the World Trade Organization will occur next Sunday at a ceremony during a regular council of ministers meeting in Qatar, the Beijing government's lead negotiator said. The communist-led nation, which has the world's fifth-largest economy, won WTO backing Sept. 17 for admission after 15 years of often-difficult negotiations.

Boeing and its European rival, Airbus Industrie, will share a major new order for commercial jets placed by Emirates, the state-owned airline of Dubai, reports said. The contracts were valued at $15 billion. Boeing is to build 25 of the 58 aircraft in the order, which was announced at the opening of the biennial Dubai International Airshow.

As many as 2,100 jobs will be cut by Prudential, the British insurance giant, the Financial Times reported Friday. In an effort to cut costs by $256 million a year between now and 2004, the company also will phase out its Scottish Amicable line, bringing those policyholders under Prudential's own brand name. And to improve profit margins, Prudential will focus new attention on lucrative pension-fund management and bond sales, the report said. Prudential is not related to the US insurance giant of the same name.

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