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August 30, 2000|Reuters, Bloomberg News

In a sign of the increasing importance of strategic alliances in the mutual fund business, John Hancock Funds said Tuesday that two leading brokers will help distribute a new stock fund that will invest in industry sectors judged to have the best growth prospects. Hancock said its Growth Trends Fund will be distributed through Merrill Lynch and PaineWebber. In another departure, the fund is being launched by the seldom-used initial public offering method. Aiming to raise $300 million to $500 million in a subscription period that runs through Sept. 22, the fund will then temporarily close while the money is invested. After that, it will reopen depending on market conditions, said Keith Hartstein, vice president for sales and marketing. The fund will invest in the financial services, health-care and technology sectors. . . .

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A former Nvidia (NVDA) engineer made $446,724 on inside trades pegged to the company's contract to design computer graphics for a new Microsoft (MSFT) video game console, federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission have alleged. The authorities say Manu B. Shrivastava, 31, learned of Nvidia's agreement to design the 3-D graphics for Microsoft's X-Box in early March and traded Nvidia options based on the information. A spokesman for the company, based in Santa Clara, Calif., said it fired Shrivastava this month because of the trades. Shrivastava's lawyer could not be reached for comment. . . .

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Adexa, a developer of software used by manufacturing clients to coordinate with suppliers and customers, will seek to raise as much as $75 million through an initial public stock sale. The Los Angeles company filed with the SEC to sell common stock and will later disclose the number of shares to be sold and their expected price.

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