Bisiness and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
BC confirms dealer's arrest

Swiss Bank Corporation has confirmed that one of its securities dealers in London has been arrested in connection with an alleged fraud. A bank spokesman said the dealer had been charged and would appear before a London court tomorrow.

It is understood that SBC's compliance department discovered the alleged pounds 2m fraud, which did not involve client money, and that the cash involved was now secure.

Lockheed jet deal

Lockheed, the US defence manufacturer, has won a contract to sell advanced combat aircraft to Singapore in a deal estimated to be worth as much as dollars 900m ( pounds 584.6m). The Singapore Ministry of Defence will buy 18 F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, to be built at Lockheed's factory in Fort Worth, Texas. Lockheed had to beat off a strong challenge from McDonnell Douglas to secure the deal.

Taking the plunge

Nationwide Building Society has cut agreed overdraft rates for its 1.2m FlexAccount customers, increasing the pressure on other banks and building societies to do the same. From 1 August the society will charge account holders with a Nationwide mortgage 8.74 per cent annual percentage rate, down from 18.1 per cent. For all other FlexAccount holders, the rate will be 11.5 per cent APR.

Forte moves

Alan Hearn, Forte's group director, operations, is leaving the hotels and restaurant group on 30 September. The role of Mr Hearn, 52, a Forte employee since 1971, has been superseded by recent management changes.

Iran soaks up oil

Iran could run out of oil to export within 15 years if its domestic consumption continues at the present rate, Ardeshir Fathi-Nejad, deputy oil minister and head of the ministry's refinery company, said. Domestic consumption has risen above 1 million barrels of oil a day - almost one-third of the country's oil production.

French profits

France Telecom made a net profit of Fr4.8bn, up 45 per cent from Fr3.3bn a year earlier. Sales rose to Fr127bn from Fr122.6bn. In 1993, debt totalled Fr105.6bn, down Fr6bn.

Delta cuts

Delta Air Lines announced it will cut about 4,500 full-time jobs from its Airport Customer Service Division over the next 12 months. The move is part of the carrier's plan, announced in April, to eliminate up to 15,000 jobs over the next three years.

Indian toe-hold

(First Edition)

J Rothschild Assurance, 51 per cent-owned by St James's Place Capital, has established a toe-hold in the Indian insurance market, which is about to emerge from state control. JRAH has linked up with the Godrej Group, one of India's oldest family owned industrial groups, to form a new life assurance company. At least 60 per cent of the capital would be made available to the public.


New York: The falling dollar and rising commodity prices left the Dow Jones Industrial Average 6.15 points down at 3,702.99 by the close.

Tokyo: Concern over the yen and Korean instability combined to send the Nikkei average down 53.42 points to 20,473.09.

Hong Kong: The Hang Seng index closed at a nine-month low of 8,394.94 after falling 38.03.

Sydney: Bond weakness and interest rate concern took the All Ordinaries down 3.7 to 1,961.2.

Bombay: Despite news of a higher-than-expected dividend from Reliance Industries, the index eased 0.91 of a point to 4,075.74.

Johannesburg: A strong bullion price helped to take the overall index 12 points higher to 5,417.

Paris: As pressure on long bond yields eased, solid gains lifted the CAC-40 index 28.97 to 1,949.75.

Frankfurt: Supported by bond futures, the DAX index gained 14.81 points to 2,065.66.

Zurich: The weak dollar affected export-linked stocks as the SPI eased 1.11 points to 1,701.

London: Report, page 24.