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March 24, 2000

* Chase Manhattan Corp. said it was in initial talks to buy Britain-based asset management and investment banking group Robert Fleming Holdings, which would accelerate its drive into global funds management. People familiar with the discussions said any agreement was "weeks rather than days away." Analysts said the deal would be worth nearly $4 billion.

* Jewelry retailer Zale Corp. said it hired Philip Diehl, director of the U.S. Mint, as president of Zale.com to lead the expansion of its Internet business. Diehl helped create the U.S. Mint's Internet retail unit during his six years as director, and introduced the 50 State Quarters and new Golden Dollar.

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