FINANCIAL BRIEFS

FINANCIAL BRIEFS

US to Grant Argentina

$550 Million LoanWASHINGTON - The U.S. Treasury Tuesday said it will provide a $550 million short-term bridge loan to Argentina.

The willingness of the United States to provide this financing indicates U.S. support for Argentina's economic program to achieve sustainable growth and a viable balance-of-payments position, Treasury said in a statement.

Treasury said the United States commends Argentina's efforts to implement stabilization and reform policies with the support of the international

financial community.

W. German Minister

Predicts Stable Dollar

FRANKFURT, W. Germany - West German Finance Minister Gerhard Stoltenberg said the dollar should hold steady in the medium term at about 1.70 deutsche marks.

In an interview published Tuesday in the Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Mr. Stoltenberg also ruled out any additional fiscal stimulus for the West Germany economy, saying the country's budget deficit had reached its limit. He said he doesn't believe the world economy is headed toward a recession.

SEC Chairman to Visit

UK in Early March

NEW YORK - David Ruder, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said he will visit the United Kingdom the first week of March to discuss with securities officials the need for greater coordination of global financial markets.

He told a Conference Board meeting Tuesday he expects to discuss key steps that will contribute to sound international capital markets and will pass on the same recommendations he made to Japanese securities officials recently. These included harmonizing accounting disclosures, making more efficient and compatible national and international clearance and settlement systems, and establishing international surveillance and enforcement agreements.

Long-Term Prime Rate

To Be Steady in Japan

TOKYO - Japan's long-term lending institutions said Tuesday the long-term prime rate will be left unchanged at 5.5 percent until late March.

The decision paved the way for reductions in interest rates on home loans, which are tied to the long-term prime rate. The long-term prime was cut 0.2 percentage point from 5.7 percent in January. Rates on housing loans are reviewed twice a year, on March 1 and Sept. 1.

Sydney Futures Mart

Increases Penalties

SYDNEY, Australia - The Sydney Futures Exchange increased its scale of penalties to the level of other futures exchanges around the world.

The exchange, Australia's only futures exchange, said it raised the maximum penalty it can impose on members ten-fold from US$17,750 to US$177,500. Leslie V. Hosking, chief executive, said previous penalty levels were far too low for the type of breaches that were occurring.

Republic National

Registers Swiss Unit

NEW YORK - Republic National Bank of New York said it registered a Swiss subsidiary to conduct a banking business in Switzerland.

The subsidiary plans to open for business March 1 with initial capital of 150 million Swiss francs (US$108 million). It will have a head office in Geneva and a subsidiary in Lugano.