FINANCIAL BRIEFS

FINANCIAL BRIEFS

COURT OVERTURNS RULING

ON OVERSEAS ACCOUNTThe Supreme Court, in a case with potentially billions of

dollars at stake, Tuesday ordered further hearings to decide whether U.S. banks with branch offices overseas must pay depositors after foreign governments freeze those accounts.

The court, by an 8-1 vote, set aside a ruling that required Citibank to pay a depositor whose account was frozen by the Philippine government of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

The justices ordered the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City to reconsider its ruling against Citibank in a case involving Wells Fargo Asia Ltd.

DE BEERS STOPS PLAN

TO SPLIT SHARE TRADING

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The world's largest diamond producer De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. squashed a scheme under which stock in its local operations would have been traded separately from those in its offshore interests, stock market sources said Tuesday.

"It's definitely off," said one source familiar with the scheme, which had been proposed by a South African consortium.

Spokesmen for the investment firms involved in the plan, Syfrets Group Ltd., Finansbank Ltd. and stockbrokers George Huysamer and Partners Inc., were not available for comment.

De Beers in March said it was splitting up its local and offshore operations by setting up a Swiss-based arm, De Beers Centenary AG, to house its foreign interests.

EAST GERMANY SEEKS

DECONTROL BY OCTOBER

BONN, West Germany - East Germany will press ahead with its privatization program to free companies from state control, and hopes they will be decentralized by October, Gerhard Pohl, East Germany's economics minister, said Tuesday.

He told journalists after talks with his West German counterpart that giant industrial conglomerates and about 8,000 publicly owned companies should have been decentralized and given a new legal status by then.

E. EUROPE AID BANK

CHARTER SIGNED

PARIS - Finance ministers from East and West Tuesday signed the charter of a new bank to help reconstruct the tattered economies of Eastern Europe, launching what French President Francois Mitterrand called a historic mission.

Forty nations, including the United States, Japan and the Soviet Union, signed articles of agreement for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, setting the seal on eight months of at-times heated negotiations.

Mr. Mitterrand described the bank as a major new international institution that would link East and West now that the formerly communist states of Eastern Europe were finally free to choose their own destiny.