Domestic role cited in run on pesoResidents...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Domestic role cited in run on peso

Residents of Mexico, not fleeing foreign investors, started the run on the Mexican peso that brought its collapse last year, according to an International Monetary Fund report.

"Residents in developing country emerging markets tend to be closer to sources of information about domestic market events and prospects than foreign investors," the IMF said in an annual analysis of capital markets around the world.

Much of the previous analysis of the Mexican crisis focused on the role of foreign investors.

Thompson gets Honeywell account

The Honeywell Environmental Air Control division of Honeywell Inc. in Hagerstown said it has selected J. Walter Thompson Chicago, part of the WPP Group, to handle its advertising account, with billings estimated at $10 million.

For the past two years, Richardson, Myers & Donofrio in Baltimore handled the account. Thompson Chicago won the account after a two-month review that included W. B. Doner & Co. in Baltimore and the Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.

Arco bids for Irish oil producer

Atlantic Richfield Co. launched a hostile bid of $248.1 million yesterday for the Irish oil producer Aran Energy PLC.

Dublin-based Aran called Arco's overtures unwelcome and said the price was too low. Arco is offering 95 cents for each Aran Energy share, 41 percent more than Friday's closing price.

Traders pushed Aran stock to $1.01 in early dealings on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Japanese banks get low ratings

International credit-rating agency Moody's issued a harsh assessment of the health of Japan's banking industry yesterday, calling the financial strength of many of the banks no better than "adequate."

Moody's Investors Service Inc. for the first time assigned "financial strength" ratings to 50 leading Japanese banks, which were hit hard by the collapse of Japan's "bubble" economy of inflated land and asset prices in the early 1990s.

Most of the banks were rated between the lowest possible grade "E," meaning very weak intrinsic financial strength, and "D," or adequate strength. Only one bank, Shizuoka Bank, was rated "B" or in strong financial health.

Home Depot builds in Parole

Home Depot Inc. has bought about 15 acres in Annapolis and begun preliminary construction of a 105,000-square-foot store and 30,000-square-foot garden center. The store, on Defense Highway in the Parole section of Annapolis, will be Home Depot's 15th Baltimore-Washington area store.

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