Britain launched a new gold coin called the Britania in an effort to lure investors who want to buy gold bullion that's not from South Africa . . . Wedge Group Inc., a Houston investment firm, has increased its stake in American Medical International of Beverly Hills to 6.6% from 5.5%. Wedge is AMI's second-largest investor . . . Merrill Lynch & Co.'s Chairman and Chief Executive William A. Schreyer reaffirmed the firm's commitment to the municipal bond and money markets. The announcement comes on the heels of Salomon Bros.' withdrawal from the municipal bond markets . . . Allegis Corp. and Ladbroke Group PLC announced the completion of the sale of Hilton International Co. to Ladbroke Group for $1.07 billion.