Business & Finance

Merrill Lynch & Co. began posting on its website the names of companies its stock researchers analyze that also are investment-banking clients. The move is part of a disclosure agreement with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who is investigating alleged conflicts of interest at seven major Wall Street investment banks – among them Merrill – and is seeking reforms of the industry in the wake of the Enron collapse. Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch enlisted former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to lobby on its behalf, The Wall Street Journal reported. Giuliani reportedly telephoned Spitzer earlier this month to discuss the merits of his case.

Micron Technology Inc. was expected to present creditors of South Korean chipmaker Hynix Semiconductor with a demand that they write off all debt in the bankrupt takeover target, reports said. The two sides planned to meet in Seoul Wednesday to work out differences in Micron's nonbinding $3.4 billion acquisition plan signed last weekend. Hynix's estimated $6 billion debt is owed mostly to government-controlled banks, and Micron is unwilling to assume any of it, a source close to the deal said. The source said the agreement calls for the debt to be transferred to Hynix's nonmemory chip operation, in which Micron would buy a small stake for $200 million. The creditors must OK the plan by next Tuesday if it is to proceed. Boise, Idaho-based Micron has been pursuing a deal since last December.

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