Business & Finance

In a deal valued at $2.4 billion, United California Bank will be acquired by French financial giant BNP Paribas, the latter said. United California Bank, which is owned by Japan's UFJ Holdings Inc., operates 115 branches and specializes in serving customers with ties to Asia. Its headquarters are in Los Angeles. The deal will strengthen BNP Paribas operations in the Western US. It already owns much of Honolulu-based BancWest Corp., which has more than 200 branches in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Hawaii.

Newmont Mining Corp., the largest producer of gold in North America, upped its takeover offer for Australian competitor Normandy Mining to $2.2 billion, reports said. Newmont, based in Denver, is bidding against South Africa's AngloGold Ltd., which has been trying to acquire Normandy since September.

Regulatory approval to build the first plant in 50 years for enriching uranium in the US is being sought by an international partnership consisting of Duke Power, the energy-industry holding company Excelon Corp., and Urenco, a joint British-Dutch-German supplier of enriched uranium, Financial Times reported. Duke Power and Excelon are leaders in the effort to revive the nuclear power industry in the US, the newspaper said. It said two prospective sites for the new $1 billion plant are being considered: Paducah, Ky., and Portsmouth, Ohio.

In layoff news:

• Another 2,000 jobs will be cut by NTL Inc., the No. 1 cable television operator in Britain, the company said. The layoffs, mostly in management, sales, and marketing, will come on top of 2,000 cuts announced earlier this year.

• The onetime state-owned communications monopoly in Poland, TPSA, acknowledged to The Wall Street Journal that it may lay off 12,500 employees, or 20 percent of its workforce, next year.

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