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A new blockbuster merger will link Sumitomo Bank and Sakura Bank in the industry's second-largest company, they announced in Tokyo. The two have about $935 billion in assets, second only to the $1.2 trillion of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Fuji Bank, and Industrial Bank of Japan Ltd., whose planned merger was announced in August.

DaimlerChrysler announced the merger of its aerospace division with France's Aerospatiale Matra SA, concluding a long-rumored deal. The new unit will be named European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co. and hopes to begin operations in the first half of next year, the announcement said. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

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Currency trading and money changers were ordered to close until at least Wednesday by the new military junta in Pakistan. Analysts called it a desperate move to conserve the nation's remaining foreign exchange. Effective immediately, the Central Bank also announced that taxes on imports, another key drain on foreign currency, would be raised from 10 percent to 30 percent. In the wake of Tuesday's coup against the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the International Monetary Fund announced immediate suspension of aid to Pakistan, which has an estimated $1.45 billion left in foreign exchange accounts.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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