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The Independent Online
Moody's extends derivatives ratings

Moody's, the rating agency, has assigned 276 special counterparty ratings to US banks and thrifts for the credit risk of derivatives. It will later extend these ratings to other non-US firms active in derivatives.

Until now counterparty ratings applied only to triple A- rated derivatives products companies.

BASF cuts costs

BASF, the German chemicals company, plans to cut fixed costs by up to DM300m this year after cutting DM1bn last year. All divisions improved in the first quarter from a year earlier except oil and gas and consumer products.

DRS floats

DRS Data & Research is placing 38 per cent of its shares to value the company at pounds 39.2m. The placing of 13.6 million shares will raise pounds 15m before expenses.

More new cars

New vehicle registrations last month rose 15 per cent to 215,000. In the six months to March seasonally adjusted new car registrations were 4 per cent higher than the previous six months.

Go-Ahead at 120p

Shares in Go-Ahead, a Gateshead-based bus company coming to the market via a placing of 17.4 million shares, were yesterday priced at 120p, valuing the business at pounds 40.1m.

France cuts

The Bank of France cut the intervention rate to 5.7 per cent from 5.8 per cent.

Bio testing

British Bio-technology, the drug research company, has begun human testing of its second cancer treatment. The genetically engineered drug aims to prevent damage to bone marrow cells which occurs during cancer chemotherapy.

Allside sold

Rathbones Brothers, the private client investment manager, is adding pounds 37m to its funds by buying Allside Asset Management Company, a firm run by Neill McCance, a former council member of the Stock Exchange.

Gatt boost

The Gatt government procurement code between the US and the EU will open up dollars 200bn in public sector purchasing to international competition, double the bidding opportunities previously available to both sides, Deloitte & Touche consultants said.

Ofgas stricter

Only traders with a proven track record and established client base will be able to buy gas from British Gas in the 1994-95 gas release programme, Clare Spottiswoode, the director- general of Gas Supply, said.

World Markets

New York: Plunging bond prices offset good company results to leave the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 31.23 points at 3,668.31.

Tokyo: Although remaining in negative territory most of the day the Nikkei average ended just 3.9 points lower at 19,725.25 after some last-minute buying.

Hong Kong: Bargain-hunting by Japanese investors pushed the Hang Seng index up 49.84 points to 9,163.09 in quiet trade.

Sydney: Active narrow-range trading ended with the All Ordinaries index 9.4 better at 2,069.1.

Bombay: Shares recovered some lost ground on buying by mutual funds, but the index finished 14.08 points lower at 3,739.

Johannesburg: Closed.

Paris: The widely expected cut in the Bank of France's intervention rate had little effect on the market, with the CAC-40 index adding just 2.93 to 2,150.25.

Frankfurt: Consolidating after recent gains, the DAX index eased 2.35 points to 2,251.22.

Zurich: An early advance was not sustained despite a firmer bond market. The SPI slipped 10.1 points to 1,799.8.

London: Report, page 30.

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