Business and City in Brief

Click to follow
The Independent Online
British Midland to start Orly flights

British Midland, the UK's second-largest airline, is to begin four return flights a day between London Heathrow and Orly airport near Paris next month. The decision follows a ruling by the European Commission in June that the French government must open Orly to foreign carriers.

British Midland said the Orly service would include a summer leisure return-flight price of pounds 81 until the end of October.

Southern accepts cap

Southern Water has agreed to accept new price controls announced last month by Ofwat, the regulator. The decision means that of the 10 principal water and sewage companies, only South West Water is rejecting the controls and intends to appeal to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Matra inquiry

The European Commission is to investigate plans by Matra Marconi to buy British Aerospace's space systems division for pounds 56m.

US wholesale rise

Wholesale sales in the US rose by 0.5 per cent in June to a level 6.1 per cent up on a year earlier, while stocks of unsold goods fell by 0.4 per cent to a level 4.8 per cent above a year earlier.

French output up

French industrial production rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 per cent in the first quarter after a fourth-quarter decline of 1.1 per cent.

Gold demand falls

Gold demand fell 4.3 per cent in the second quarter of 1994 compared with the same period last year, according to figures issued by the World Gold Council.

Retrovir approval

Wellcome's Aids drug, Retrovir, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Clinical studies have shown that Retrovir can prevent the transmission of the HIV virus to babies by infected mothers.

KPMG pays pounds 186m

KPMG Peat Marwick has become the latest big six accounting firm to settle charges stemming from the 1980s savings- and-loan crisis in the US. It agreed to pay dollars 186.5m to the US Resolution Trust Corporation and other bank regulators to settle charges of alleged negligence in auditing a number of American savings banks.

Cut in compensation

The total compensation package of Heinz's chief executive, Tony O'Reilly, fell 32 per cent to dollars 1.9m for the year to 27 April, a US paper reported yesterday.

New York: Stocks closed mixed with blue chips up slightly but the rest down. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 1.95 up at 3,755.76.

Tokyo: Tokyo trade was thin with many dealers on holiday. The Nikkei average ended down 45.61 at 20,590.22.

Hong Kong: Investors kept to the sidelines and the Hang Seng index fell 91.44 to 9,446.43.

Sydney: Firmer futures pulled up stocks. The All Ordinaries closed 5.7 higher at 2,086.8.

Bombay: The index closed 21.74 higher at 4,319.08 on speculation of a further rise.

Johannesburg: Strong local and offshore interest drove prices up. The index closed up 60 at 5,818.

Frankfurt: Prices closed lower as equities tracked bunds. The 30-share DAX index ended down 20.47 at 2,164.2.

Paris: Falling bond futures prices pushed the CAC-40 index down 31.86 to 2,074.48.

Zurich: Easier futures and tighter interest rates cut stocks. The SPI fell 16.55 to 1,718.83.

London: Report, page 26.