Business and City in Brief
Wednesday 20 April 1994
Deutsche Bank was forced to deny rumours circulating in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange that members of its board had been arrested in connection with the Schneider property collapse, after its shares fell 4 per cent.
Meanwhile Die Welt, the German newspaper, was set to publish the whereabouts of Juergen Schneider, the fugitive property magnate. He is alleged to be staying on an island off Florida.
Maurice O'Connell, has been appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland. He succeeds Maurice Doyle who retires at the end of this month. Mr O'Connell is second secretary in the Department of Finance in Dublin.
Hope for Swan
The stricken Swan Hunter shipyard on the Tyne was last night reported to be in the running to win a big order for the South African navy. Jane's Defence Weekly reported that if the ANC wins next week's elections, it wants to buy six corvettes. Swan's survival meanwhile could hinge on a pounds 30m refit order from the Ministry of Defence.
Daewoo of South Korea is creating 250 jobs with a pounds 17m investment at its video cassette recorder factory in Antrim, Northern Ireland. The investment will convert the plant, which employs 417 workers, into the only fully integrated VCR maker in Europe. It is the third Korean investment in the province in a year.
US deficit widens
The US trade deficit in February rose to a higher-than-expected dollars 9.7bn ( pounds 6.6bn), up from dollars 6.6bn in January. The merchandise trade deficit was also up, from dollars 10.7bn in January to dollars 12.36bn, the Commerce Department said.
GKN owns or has received acceptances for shares in Westland Group representing 90.8 per cent. It has agreed to acquire a further 1.1 million shares bringing its interest to 91.6 per cent.
Philips, the Dutch electronics group, has won a 30m-guilder (pounds 10.6m) contract to supply under-canopy lighting for all new or refurbished Royal Dutch/Shell service stations in Europe for the next five years. The contract is part of the oil company's programme to give a facelift to 5,000 service stations in 22 European countries.
Lufthansa made a 1993 pre-tax loss of DM50m (pounds 19.9m), compared with a loss of DM297m a year earlier. The number of employees fell by almost 4,000, reducing costs by more than DM300m.
Gaps at the top
Management vacancies are up 22 per cent on a year ago and 30 per cent in the quarter, according to figures published today by MSL, the recruitment consultant. High technology and retail showed particular strength.
Head water man
Bernard Henderson, chairman of Anglian Water since 1981, has been appointed chairman of the British Waterways Board.
Rhone deal cleared
The European Commission has approved the acquisition of Cooper, the French drugs company, by Rhone-Poulenc.
New York: Shares recovered after heavy falls, and after a mid- afternoon gain of 7.14 points the Dow dipped again to close 0.60 of a point down at 3,619.82.
Tokyo: With investors sidelined after Wall Street's steep fall, the Nikkei average gave up 85.02 points to close at 20,192.34.
Hong Kong: The rise in US interest rates hit the exchange harder than other Asian markets, with the Hang Seng index tumbling 202.93 points to 9,303.91.
Sydney: Also tracking New York, the All Ordinaries index dropped 34.5 points to 2,061.4.
Bombay: Ahead of tomorrow's end of the account the index ended 15.26 points lower at 1,862.99.
Johannesburg: Industrial stocks were strong and gold shares steady as the overall index recorded a 110-point gain to 5,080.
Frankfurt: A sharp sell-off partly attributable to weakness in the bond market lowered the DAX index 56.36 points to 2,172.42.
Paris: Amid concern over European interest rates the CAC-40 index fell 24.08 to 2,135.98.
Zurich: Blue chips bore the brunt of the decline as the SPI surrendered 14.94 to 1,825.74.
London: Report, page 28.
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