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MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

UPS reportedly near deal to buy European deliverer

NEW YORK — UPS has reached or is close to reaching a deal to buy European package-delivery company TNT Express, according to media reports Sunday.

The online editions of the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed people familiar with the talks, said the deal could be announced Monday. They put the price tag around $6.8 billion, or 5.2 billion euros.

The offer equates to 9.50 euros per share. A month ago, Netherlands-based TNT rejected an “informal” offer from United Parcel Service Inc. at 9 euros per share. TNT shares closed Friday at 9.35.

A UPS spokeswoman said Sunday that she could not confirm the reports, but the company said Friday that it was still in talks and that they were “constructive.” TNT did not respond to a request for comment.

CHINA

Home prices largely down in February

BEIJING — Home prices in nearly two-thirds of China’s major cities fell in February from the previous month, the government said Sunday, as moves to cool the red-hot property market continue to bite.

Of the 70 large and midsized cities tracked by the government, 45 saw new-home prices fall month-on-month, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement, down from 48 in January.

Prices in an additional 21 cities were stable, and just four cities experienced price rises, it added.

Beijing has introduced a range of measures aimed at curbing runaway property prices over the past year, such as bans on buying second homes, hiking minimum down payments and introducing property taxes in select cities.

From wire dispatches and staff reports