FINANCIAL BRIEFS

FINANCIAL BRIEFS

Baker Urges S. Korea

To Speed Rise of WonSEOUL, South Korea - U.S. Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III said Friday he called on the South Korean government to speed up its appreciation of its currency to help reduce the growing U.S. trade deficit with South Korea.

Mr. Baker said he also discussed other trade issues, including the lifting of a ban on imports of U.S. beef, an easing of restrictions on U.S. cigarettes and protection of U.S. intellectual property rights.

He said South Korea's currency, the won, was undervalued against the U.S.

dollar, but did not say how much it should be revalued.

US-Soviet Grain Pact

May Be Negotiated

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Richard Lyng said he is still optimistic the United States and the Soviet Union will negotiate a long-term grain agreement this year, but offered no details on a possible agreement.

President Reagan hasn't decided on whether the United States should seek a new pact to succeed the five-year agreement that expires Sept. 30, 1988, Mr. Lyng said.

Industry analysts speculate a new agreement could include a minimum

purchase requirement for soybeans and soybean products, which Mr. Lyng favors if the Soviets indicate an interest. The current agreement requires minimum purchases of wheat and corn but no minimum for soybeans and soybean products.

Former Broker Gets

120 Weekends in Jail

NEW YORK - Former stockbroker Peter Brant was sentenced Friday to 120 weekends in jail and fined $10,000 for his role in the insider trading scandal that involved a Wall Street Journal reporter.

U.S. District Judge Charles E. Stewart also put Mr. Brant on probation for five years and ordered him to do 750 hours of community service.

Mr. Brant, 35, a former broker at Kidder Peabody & Co., pleaded guilty July 12, 1984, to conspiracy and securities fraud. He admitted his part in a scheme to trade stock in 24 companies on the basis of information that was to appear in the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column.

UK Regulatory Body

Gets New Chairman

LONDON - Bank of England executive director David Walker was appointed chairman of the Securities and Investments Board to replace Kenneth Berrill, the Department of Trade and Industry and Bank of England announced Friday.

Mr. Walker will replace Mr. Berrill on June 1, and will serve a four-year term. Mr. Berrill, 67, said in the past that he would be happy to continue as chairman, but DTI officials said they felt it was appropriate to replace him, and drew attention to his age.

The DTI and Bank of England expressed their appreciation of the formidable contribution made by Mr. Berrill in establishing the SIB and the new regulatory system under the Financial Services Act.

Swiss Futures Market

Delays Its Opening

FRANKFURT, West Germany - The board of the Swiss Options and Financial Futures Exchange postponed indefinitely the opening of the new computerized exchange on the advice of its project manager, exchange sources said.

The opening, which had been planned for March 1, was put back to ensure that its computer-controlled trading system is fully operational before trading starts.

Trading on Switzerland's only futures market will take place via a central computer from terminals in members' offices.