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Bundesbank cuts rate

The Bundesbank cut the lowest rate on its securities repurchase funds from 5.73 to 5.7 per cent, encouraging speculation that there would be a cut in the key discount rate this morning after the Bundesbank's council meeting. The German central bank is also due to publish its 1993 profit.

Receiverships up

The number of receiverships in the first three months of 1994 rose 5.8 per cent from the last quarter of 1993, although the annual trend remains downwards, KPMG Peat Marwick said. There was a 37.5 per cent fall from the same period in 1993.

Forklift offer

Jungheinrich, a German forklift truck manufacturer, said it would offer to buy Steinbock Boss, the forklift truck maker that filed for bankruptcy last week. A spokesman said the supervisory board endorsed a takeover bid drafted by the management board. The administrator is expected to decide on the offer today.

Insolvency plea

Up to 500 British companies that collapse each year could be rescued if insolvency law was revised, the Confederation of British Industry said. The CBI supports suggestions that include a 28-day stay period on creditors when a troubled business applies for a company voluntary arrangement.

Malik-Noor to reply

Shiraz Abdul Malik-Noor, former chairman of Regina, the health products group, is to respond to board criticisms of his conduct 'within the next 48 hours'. Yesterday the board of the Royal Jelly maker alleged in a letter to shareholders that Mr Malik-Noor had made costly mistakes that they could no longer afford. Mr Malik-Noor, who owns 25 per cent of Regina, has requisitioned a second extraordinary meeting on 25 April in a bid to remove Paul Geoghegan, the chairman, and Tony Shakesby, finance director.

DM230bn debts

Treuhandanstalt, the agency charged with privatising former East German enterprises, will leave debts of DM230bn ( pounds 92bn) by the end of next year, when it is scheduled to wind up its activities.

Pension fund 'losers'

Mercury Asset Management and Phillips & Drew Fund Management, two of Britain's leading pension fund managers, were yesterday branded as losers in a review of investment performance by Bacon & Woodrow, the actuarial consultants.

Zeneca takes stake

Zeneca, the pharmaceuticals group, has taken a stake in International Biotechnology Trust, the investment fund to be managed by Rothschild Asset Management. The trust is seeking up to pounds 75m after raising a disappointing pounds 35m in a placing.

Taxi fares rise

(First Edition)

London taxi fares will rise by an average of just under 3 per cent from the 23 April. The 2.88 per cent increase will take account of the rise in fuel duty in the November 1993 Budget. There is to be no increase this year in the fees for London taxi driver and vehicle licences, currently 87 pounds and 78 pounds.


NEW YORK: Share prices gyrated wildly, with the Dow Jones Average off 20.22 at 3,661.47 by the close after a plunge of more than 50 points in mid-afternoon.

TOKYO: A revival of confidence on the likely choice of Tsutomu Hata as prime minister saw the Nikkei average climb 412.08 points to close at 20,060.41.

HONG KONG: Profit-taking cut into gains, leaving the Hang Seng 15.67 firmer at 9,753.76.

SYDNEY: Foreign and local interest lifted the All Ordinaries index 16.1 points to 2,111.2.

BOMBAY: Recovering from a weak opening, the index ended 22.16 points higher at 3,037.28.

JOHANNESBURG: A recovery in the bullion price was matched by shares, with the overall index adding 86 points to 5,023.

PARIS: Narrow-range trading left the CAC-40 index 3.81 points to the good at 2,152.36.

FRANKFURT: In cautious trade the DAX index eased 1.41 to 2,209.19.

ZURICH: Awaiting the outcome of today's Bundesbank meeting, the SPI fell 2.92 points to 1,845.7.

LONDON: Report, page 34.