Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, November 28, 1997

Travelers completes purchase of Salomon

NEW YORK -- Travelers Group Inc. said today that it completed its $9 billion acquisition of Salomon Inc., creating a Wall Street investment giant.

In September, Travelers agreed to pay 1.13 shares for each of Salomon's shares outstanding. Salomon owns the investment banking company Salomon Brothers. Travelers is expected to combine Salomon with its Smith Barney Inc. brokerage unit to form Salomon Smith Barney Holdings Inc.

The new securities and investment banking firm is expected to have about $250 billion in assets with a large inventory of U.S. and foreign government securities.

OPEC ministers agree to boost oil output

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- OPEC ministers agreed today to pump more oil, and said they will meet tomorrow to settle on an amount that will boost their market share but avoid a price collapse.

Indonesian oil minister Ida Bagus Sudjana predicted the group can reach a deal -- but others urged caution in finding the right production ceiling and individual quotas for each member.

"We're still haggling over them," said Tijani Bolori, the Nigerian representative to the talks. "These are life and death issues for most of our countries."

Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates suggested today that OPEC might consider setting its stated production ceiling at 27.2 million barrels a day -- up from the current 25 million barrel level that is being widely violated.

In other news . . .

LONDON -- Shareholders of beer maker Guinness Plc and Grand Metropolitan Plc, owner of Burger King and Haagen-Dazs, have approved a merger between the companies. The deal creates the world's seventh-biggest food and beverage company with a market value of about $36 billion. Shares of the larger company begin trading on Dec. 17.

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