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votes are being counted in Paris today after the deadline passed at midnight on Friday for investors in three banks to tender shares in a bitter six-month takeover battle pitting Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) against Socit Gnrale and Paribas. The latter two banks bitterly oppose BNP's bold project to merge all three, an attempt to foil their own planned alliance. The Paris bourse was expected to have an idea of the result by Aug. 13, but no details were to be made public until Aug. 17. A three-way merger would create the world's first bank with a trillion dollars in assets.

Ending one of the most intense rivalries in US journalism, the Hearst Corp. has bought the San Francisco Chronicle and will put its San Francisco Examiner up for sale. If Hearst can't find a buyer for its afternoon paper, it will combine them into a morning daily, an idea that was immediately condemned in a city where the Examiner and Chronicle have competed for more than a century. (Story, page 2.)

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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