TRADE BRIEFS

TRADE BRIEFS

17 PROBLEM BANKS

TAKEN OVER IN NIGERIA

LAGOS - The Nigerian Central Bank took over management of 17 commercial banks because of their poor management and the deterioration of their

financial situation, Central Bank Governor Paul Ogunwa said Friday.

He said the move had been made with the approval of Chief of State General Sani Abacha and "in the public interest."

He said the Central Bank's intervention became necessary because the banks' owners had not taken the steps required to restore the situation in spite of repeated admonitions from the Central Bank.

The 17 banks' boards of directors were dissolved and the banks will be under provisional management by a directorate consisting of competent Central Bank staffers designated by it, Mr. Ogunwa said.

JAPAN, NORTH KOREA

SET PRELIMINARY TALKS

TOKYO - Japan and North Korea have agreed to hold preliminary talks this month about resuming normalization negotiations suspended three years ago, a newspaper reported on at the weekend.

The Asahi Shimbun, quoting senior government officials, said the preliminary talks would be held in Beijing.

North Korea walked out of the main talks in November 1992 when Japan raised the issue of a Japanese woman it believes was abducted and later killed by Pyongyang.

A delegation from Japan's ruling coalition visited Pyongyang in March and signed an agreement with their North Korean counterparts calling on the two governments to resume normalization talks soon.

INDIA, MYANMAR HELD

LIKELY TO BOOST TRADE

YANGON, Myanmar - Business relations between Myanmar and its western neighbor India are likely to expand soon, the leader of an Indian trade delegation said.

"There is now tremendous scope for larger Indo-Myanmar business and trade, particularly with the eastern and northeastern region of India under the cross-border trade agreement," said Bhaskar Sen, leader of a business delegation from Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on Thursday.

The seven-member Indian trade delegation arrived in Yangon on Tuesday to look for business opportunities in Myanmar, which opened its market to outside

investments in 1988.

Border trade between the two countries was formally opened in April.

BRAZIL PANEL APPROVES

PATENT PROTECTION BILL

SAO PAULO - Brazil's Senate Economic Affairs Committee late last week approved a bill offering more protection for patents and other forms of intellectual property, the Estado news agency reported.

Amendments to the bill will be voted on by committee this week.

Once amendments have been dealt with, the bill can go to the full Senate for a vote.

The bill has already passed Brazil's Chamber of Deputies. It is supported by President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.