Regulators Suggest Ban on Dealer Contributions

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WASHINGTON _ Municipal securities dealers should be banned from making political contributions to influence state and local government officials who award bond underwriting business, say federal and industry regulators. The ban is proposed in three separate studies by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Association of Securities Dealers and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. It comes in response to ethics investigations in two states. Six Former Soviet Republics Plan Economic Union

MOSCOW _ Russia and five other former Soviet republics, facing bankruptcy and economic collapse, pledged to work toward a new economic union that could lead to the restoration of a common currency. The agreement signed Tuesday by the governments and central banks of Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Armenia and Tajikistan set strict conditions for joining what it called a new ruble zone. Guidelines Proposed for Banks Selling Mutual Funds

WASHINGTON _ Six national banking trade associations proposed guidelines for banks that sell mutual funds to protect customers who have never made such investments before and are unaware of the risks. The proposals unveiled Tuesday come at a time when bank customers, unhappy with the low interest being paid on bank deposits, are pulling millions of dollars out of savings accounts and switching them to mutual funds. U.S. Telecommunications Firms Succeed Overseas

WASHINGTON _ The U.S. telecommunications industry's penetration of the European market is "a striking success story" in a part of the world where government-owned monopolies control 85 percent of the phone business, says a congressional study. It is success that U.S. companies have achieved with little help from the U.S. government. It could be an even better story if federal agencies were better coordinated, Congress' Office of Technology Assessment said in a report being released Wednesday. Moody's Restores Chrysler Rating

DETROIT _ Moody's Investors Service Inc. restored Chrysler Corp.'s investment-grade rating on $13 billion in debt after more than two years in "junk bond" territory. The move Tuesday was surprising because Moody's earlier had indicated it would await the outcome of the United Auto Workers contract talks before deciding whether to list Chrysler as an investment-grade risk. …