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Federal agencies have given financial-service businesses an eight-month extension to comply with legislation enacted last November that is designed to protect consumers' personal data. The new regulations, which won't be mandated until July 2001, allow consumers to make written requests that banks, investment firms, and insurers stop sharing personal information with third parties, such as telemarketers.

Hyundai Motors announced it has formed a strategic alliance with DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi Motors to develop an automobile with a 1.0- to 1.5-liter engine. The trio is aiming to begin production in 2002 and sell 4 million to 5 million units over five years, Hyundai said. In March, DaimlerChrysler signed an agreement to acquire a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi, which owns a 4 percent stake in Hyundai.

During the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Thailand, 13 nations agreed on a pledge to rescue one another's currencies to fend off economic crises like the one that struck in 1997. Involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus China, Japan, and South Korea, the plan would center around currency swaps that in theory could keep up exchange rates. The proposal, for which details remain to be worked out, stops short of one made by Japan in 1997 to create an Asian monetary fund. That plan was shot down by Washington, fearing it would rival the International Monetary Fund.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society


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