Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
Bristol & West pay-off

Bristol & West, the UK's 10th- largest building society, has paid nearly pounds 500,000 in compensation to Tony FitzSimons, its former chief executive, who left the society last September.

The society's annual report and accounts show that Mr FitzSimons was paid pounds 415,000 ascompensation for loss of salary, and received a further pounds 69,000 in enhanced pension contributions.

IBM power display

International Business Machines began to reposition its mainframe computer business yesterday, rolling out powerful new computers that employ parallel microprocessors.

Last resort

The Stock Exchange will today decide whether to delist Resort Hotels shares, suspended since July, because of the company's failure to meet a deadline for presenting restructuring proposals. Bottom Line, page 30

Pounds 44m Heron sale

Heron International, the troubled property and trading company run by Gerald Ronson, completed the sale of the Heron Suzuki motor distributor to Suzuki Motor Corporation, for a price understood to be pounds 44m.

Amey seeks listing

Amey Holdings, the UK's sixth- largest road builder and eighth- largest public sector contractor, plans to float on the stock market in the summer. Profits last year rose 40 per cent to pounds 4.7m.

On the up and up

The Association of European Airlines said its members' worldwide scheduled passenger traffic rose 9.9 per cent in February from a year earlier to 21.4 billion revenue passenger kilometres.

Russia to cut rates

The Russian central bank will halve its official interest rate from the current level of 220 per cent, Viktor Gerashchenko, the governor, said.

Lopez charges likely

The US and Germany expect to press charges against the Volkswagen executive Jose Ignacio Lopez de Arriortua within the next few months for allegations linked to his transfer from General Motors.

Drug licence

SmithKline Beecham's French unit will market Marion Merrel Dow's Cogitum treatment under a 10-year licence, it was announced today.

Medeva signs up

Medeva said its US subsidiary Adams Laboratories signed an agreement to market the Semprex-D seasonal allergy treatment for Burroughs Wellcome.

French failures up

French company failures in March rose to 6,697 from 5,697 in February and 6,334 a year ago.


New York: Shares rallied. By the close the Dow Jones Average was up 82.06 points to 3,675.41, its biggest one-day gain since December 1991.

Tokyo: Buying by institutions boosted the Nikkei 225 by 440.99 points to 19,563.21 with best gains seen among banks.

Hong Kong: Closed.

Sydney: A rebound in futures prices helped the All Ordinaries index to recover to 2,050, down 3.1, after steep early falls.

Johannesburg: The lower bullion price knocked 95 points off the gold index to 1,918. The overall index eased 90 to 4,848.

Frankfurt: Optimism about a near-term cut in interest rates lifted the DAX index 25.18 to 2,158.29.

Madrid: Demand for blue chips pushed the Ibex-35 index 108.39 points ahead to 3,483.35

Milan: Political worries continued to dog shares. The Mitbel index shed 51 to 11,721.

Paris: The CAC-40 index rose 18.31 to 2,100.25, encouraged by early buoyancy on Wall Street.

London: Report, page 28.