NEW YORK (Reuter) - QVC, the US home shopping channel, was reported to have accepted an improved takeover offer of dollars 46 a share from two of its main shareholders late last night. After a day-long board meeting held to consider the merger proposal from the cable television companies Comcast and Tele- Communications Inc (TCI) a source close to the negotiations said QVC was now waiting for lawyers to finalise the details.
Separately, TCI said it had discontinued talks on purchasing Viacom's cable operations but the two are still discussing a joint venture in programming.
July car sales dip
New car sales fell in July, halting a seven-month rise, as buyers delayed purchases until M- registration vehicles became available this month. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed last month's sales of 34,489 vehicles down 2.5 per cent on July last year. Total sales for the first seven months, at 990,752, are 13.31 per cent up on the same period in 1993. Importers took 59.94 per cent of July sales against 54.97 per cent last time. The industry predicts August sales could beat the 500,112 units sold in August 1989.
SFA seeks change
Securities firms and banks may have to change the way they set aside capital under proposals from the Securities and Futures Authority. The suggested rules would implement the European Community Capital Adequacy Directive, and for the first time UK firms would have to apply capital requirements across the whole of their business, not just the part regulated by the SFA.
More homes on way
The slow recovery in British housebuilding continues, with 19,000 dwellings started in June, up from 17,200 a year earlier.
Royal Bank of Scotland became the second-biggest player in the share registration market, buying National Westminster Bank's registration and new issues business for an undisclosed sum. The net book value of the assets was pounds 3.89m at 30 June.
The Northumbrian Water board said the Ofwat decision on price caps provided a 'tough but achievable' package and it would not seek a referral to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
Airline pact criticised
Co-ordination of marketing and flight schedules by British Airways and Qantas is technically in breach of anti-monopoly laws, Australia's Trade Practices Commission said.
New York: Investors turned cautious ahead of today's important July payrolls data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 26.87 points down at 3,765.79.
Tokyo: Shares closed narrowly mixed after a day of futures- linked dealing. The Nikkei 225 index rose 44.11 points to 20,676.84.
Hong Kong: The Hang Seng index rose 56.96 points to 9,642.85.
Singapore: A late wave of blue chip buying from overseas saw the Straits Times Industrial index rise 4.04 points to 2,271.17.
Sydney: Bargain-hunting among gold issuses pushed the All Ordinaries index up 11.2 points to 2,083.5.
Milan: Shares closed lower in lacklustre trading. The Mibtel index lost 24 to 11,328.
Frankfurt: Prices fell in moderate trading. The DAX index closed at 2,183.36, down 15.56.
Paris: Prices lost ground as investors took profits following Tuesday's strong advance. The CAC-40 index finished 18.62 points lower at 2,096.45
London: Report, page 24.