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November 03, 1998

* The state Department of Food and Agriculture said Australia has withdrawn its threatened ban on U.S. produce imports that could harbor the Mexican fruit fly. The agency said Australia relented after receiving U.S. assurances that the fruit fly outbreak remains confined to a portion of San Diego County.

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* Los Angeles-based Westfield America Inc., the fourth-largest owner of shopping malls in the U.S., said it lost $11.8 million in the third quarter on an interest-rate hedge. The loss was disclosed in the real estate investment trust's earnings report as a loss on the sale of investments, without elaboration. The loss stems from interest rate swaps on about $725 million in debt taken out by Westfield to finance its $1.4-billion purchase of 12 malls from the Canadian real estate company TrizecHahn. The company said the loss would not affect funds from operations, a measure of cash flow for REITs, because it will be paid out over several years.

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* Triumph Group Inc. of Wayne, Pa., said it will buy DV Industries, a Lynwood-based metal-finishing company, for an undisclosed price.

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