Rules on municipal bonds urgedSecurities and Exchange...

BUSINESS DIGEST

March 03, 1994

Rules on municipal bonds urged

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt urged state treasurers yesterday to adopt procedures to prevent conflicts of interest in municipal bond sales. Mr. Levitt urged the nation's state treasurers to combat conflicts of interest in the industry. The SEC is examining allegations that brokers used political contributions as a way to obtain lucrative contracts in the $1.2 trillion municipal bond market.

Fed chief opposes 4-agency merger

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan agreed yesterday to meet with Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen to discuss the Clinton administration plan to merge the regulatory duties of the four existing bank agencies, a proposal the Treasury says would help consumers, banks and the economy. Still, Mr. Greenspan told a Senate panel the plan would make it tougher to prevent or handle financial crises.

McCormick buys Finnish firm

Spice maker McCormick & Company Inc. said yesterday it had purchased the spice business of Tuko Oy, a major Finnish food distributor. Tuko Oy has been manufacturing products under license from McCormick since 1976. The Finnish company will continue to distribute McCormick's products in the region, McCormick said. The Tuko Oy purchase price was not released.

Big 3 plan to step up production

Detroit's Big Three carmakers are planning sharp increases in second-quarter production rates, setting the stage for record profits this year. Industry watcher Ward's Automotive Reports estimates that General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Corp. plan to build 2.69 million cars and trucks in the United States next quarter.

Honeywell found to discriminate

Labor Secretary Robert Reich ruled yesterday that Honeywell discriminated against women, deciding in a 17-year-old case that the corporate giant separated job classes by gender. Mr. Reich said that from 1972 until 1977 Honeywell assigned women at two Minnesota plants primarily to jobs already occupied by large numbers of females and provided them with fewer opportunities for advancement than newly hired men.

Paramount deal finally done

The deal that seemed as if it would never end finally did. Viacom Inc. said yesterday morning that it has completed the cash tender offer for 61.7 million shares, or 50.1 percent of the shares of Paramount Communications Inc. Viacom will pay $107 cash per share, a total of $6.6 billion.

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