Report warns of economic weaknesses

A YEAR ago the economists of the Bank for International Settlements saw some of the potential tensions in East Asia that lead to the collapses there.

Now they warn of continuing tensions as the dollar climbs and the US current account deficit mounts; a European Central Bank struggling to balance the different monetary needs of core and fringe Europe; and an Asian crisis that is still far from resolved. Hamish McRae examines the new BIS report, page 21.

Unigate still wants

parts of Hillsdown

UNIGATE, THE fresh foods and dairy group which dramatically abandoned a pounds 1.6bn bid for Hillsdown Holdings last month, said yesterday that it remained interested in acquiring parts of Hillsdown but was unlikely to launch another bid. "We can't see the circumstances under which we would go back for the whole of Hillsdown," said Sir Ross Buckland, Unigate's chief executive.

Investment Column 23.

British Land attacks tax changes

INNER CITY redevelopment is being held back because of the government's "insidious" and "unpredictable" tax system, said a key developer, British Land, yesterday.

The company reported a 39 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to pounds 127.2m, but said tax changes had limited its increased net asset value to 592p instead of 628p.

Investment Column 23.