TRADE BRIEFS

TRADE BRIEFS

S. AFRICAN BANK TEAM

PLANS TO VISIT NIGERIA

LAGOS, Nigeria - South Africa will send a four-man delegation to Nigeria Oct. 1 to undertake a two-week study of the country's grassroots banking system.

A community banking system, the National Board for Community Banks, was started in Nigeria five years ago. The system, designed to mobilize rural savings, now has 357 community banks spread across the country.

The South African delegation from Afribank will hold talks with the NBCB and may sign a technical assistance agreement.

Nigerian government sources said the South African government had invited NBCB officials to Pretoria last year to advise Afribank on the establishment of rural banks. However, the technical assistance was suspended following the political crisis in Nigeria. It is expected that the release of a political transition program by Nigeria's military government on Oct. 1 will restore some peace in the country.

FUJIAN TRADE FAIR NETS

$9.8 BILLION IN DEALS

XIAMEN, China - The annual Fujian province investment and trade fair attracted more than 20,000 businessmen from 48 countries who signed agreements worth $9.8 billion in 600 projects, officials said.

MERCEDES-BENZ PLANS

1,600 LAYOFFS IN BRAZIL

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Mercedes-Benz said Monday it will lay off 1,600 workers at Brazilian plants, the latest cutback in response to sluggish sales and industry modernization.

In August, General Motors reduced its work force at two Brazilian factories by 1,050, or 4.4 percent.

Ford Motor Co. is holding talks with workers to encourage the voluntary resignation of 1,800 workers or 15 percent at the Ipiranga and Sao Bernardo do Campo factories, a spokesman said.

The layoffs account for about 10 percent of Mercedes' Brazil staff.