Business & Finance

The United Auto Workers Union and the Chrysler unit of Germany's DaimlerChrysler reached tentative agreement on a four-year contract, the latter announced shortly after the old pact expired Sunday. Details were not immediately released and negotiations were continuing with General Motors and Ford and parts suppliers Delphi and Visteon. The talks, which began in mid-July, affect 300,000 workers and almost a half-million retirees and their families.

Rival bids are expected as soon as Tuesday by Exxon Mobil and ChevronTexaco for a one-quarter stake in Russian oil giant Yukos-Sibneft, The Wall Street Journal reported. Based on current market conditions, the Journal said a stake of that size would be valued at about $11 billion, although a deal may be many months from being finalized. Currently, the largest Western share in a Russian oil company is the $7.7 billion invested by BP (formerly British Petroleum) last week in a joint venture with TNK International, the nation's third-largest in terms of reserves.

Despite its heavy debt load, telephone giant Deutsche Telekom acquired the remaining 51 percent of rival service provider PTC that it didn't already own. The Financial Times put the size of the deal at $1.2 billion in cash. PTC has a 40 percent share of the mobile-phone business in Poland, its base and one of the industry's fastest-growing markets. Last March, Deutsche Telekom reported debts of $67 billion and said it lost $27.1 billion in fiscal year 2002. But it since has been concentrating its focus in Central and Eastern Europe while shedding assets in Asia.

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