Bundesbank tells of interventionGermany's central bank says...


Bundesbank tells of intervention

Germany's central bank says it spent more than $30 billion trying to prop up the value of the pound and the lira last month before Britain and Italy gave up defending their currencies and pulled out of Europe's monetary system.

The disclosure, made in a statement from the Bundesbank that appeared yesterday in The Financial Times, was intended to head off criticism from British officials that Germany had done little to support sterling during the currency crisis and in some ways had undermined the pound. The Bundesbank said most of the $30 billion had been spent supporting the pound.

Ex-employees bid for Continental

A group that includes several former Continental employees made a $425 million bid for the airline yesterday, the fifth offer since Continental started a bankruptcy reorganization.

Italy asks for EC help


Italy placed its ailing economy under the wing of the European Community yesterday, asking for a loan to bolster the lira and underline the EC's commitment to help Italy overcome its crisis.

AmEx cuts rates for some

American Express Co. said yesterday that it was lowering the interest rate for its better class of Optima cardholders, to 12 percent from 12.5 percent, in another sign that competition is heating up in the credit card business. Citicorp, the nation's largest issuer of credit cards, lowered the interest rates on Visa and MasterCard cards by a half percentage point, also effective yesterday.

Biospherics receives extension

Biospherics Inc. of Beltsville has received a two-month extension on its agreement with Pfizer Inc. of New York to give the companies time to continue tests of a low-calorie sweetener patented by Biospherics.

Maryland Federal profits up

Maryland Federal Bancorp in Hyattsville said fiscal second-quarter earnings rose 88 percent, spurred by gains on the sale of first mortgage loans and foreclosed property. Income in the period ended Aug. 31 increased to $2.53 million, or 77 cents a share, from $1.34 million, or 42 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.


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