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November 17, 1998

Major airlines reversed 4% increases in leisure fares initiated last week after Northwest Airlines Corp. declined to follow suit. It was the 10th time this year that airlines reversed fare hikes soon after announcing them because not all carriers followed.

* Boeing Co. named General Motors Corp.'s Deborah Hopkins as its chief financial officer, hiring from an industry the jet maker hopes to emulate as it modernizes its production lines and overhauls accounting practices. Hopkins, 44, vice president for finance at GM's European unit, will join Boeing on Dec. 14. She replaces Boyd Givan, 62, who retired in September.

* Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. plans to take a fourth-quarter charge of $400 million to $500 million, mostly to cover its remaining costs from breast implant litigation. The charge also will account for prescription drug-pricing litigation. Bristol-Myers is one of several companies that have settled cases alleging that drug makers conspired to overcharge independent and chain store pharmacies while giving discounts or rebates to some managed-care and health insurance groups.

* American Bankers Insurance Group Inc., the second-largest U.S. credit life insurer, said it will pay $15 million to settle a federal class-action suit challenging its sales methods. The Miami-based insurer denied any wrongdoing.

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