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Parliament apology for Eagle Star

The Lord Chancellor's Department has apologised to Eagle Star Insurance, part of BAT, for mistakenly including its name in a list of cases showing the 10 largest payments made from the legal aid fund for criminal trials in the last five years.

In a parliamentary answer to Stephen Byers MP last month, the Parliamentary Secretary, John Taylor MP, listed a fraud case involving 'Eagle Starr' (sic) as costing the legal aid fund pounds l76m. The reference should have been to Eagle Trust.

Mowlem sale

Beazer Homes has sold John Mowlem Homes Northern Ireland, which it acquired with its pounds 31m purchase of John Mowlem Homes last month, to Ladyhill Holdings for pounds 2m.

Sega/MCA venture

Sega Enterprises is to set up a joint venture with MCA, the entertainment arm of Matsushita, to run a high-technology theme park near Universal Studios in Los Angeles. MCA operates Universal Studios theme parks in the US.

Japan surplus up

Japan's trade surplus widened to an unadjusted dollars 12.3bn last month from dollars 11.82bn a year earlier. Trade with the US widened to an unadjusted dollars 5.63bn surplus in July, from a surplus of dollars 4.69bn a year earlier.

Brierley stake

Sir Ron Brierley's Guinness Peat Group has raised its stake in Adelaide Steamship Co from 6.32 per cent to 7.56 per cent. It now owns 30.4 million shares in the debt-laden group.

Kidnap consortium

The Hiscox Group and Cassidy Davis have formed a consortium at Lloyd's to underwrite kidnap and ransom insurance from 1 October. Hiscox Syndicate 33, which recently announced it was hiring Robert Daves and Stephen Camm from Cassidy Davis, will be the lead underwriter for the consortium.

Germans welcome

Adam Opel, part of General Motors, and Volkswagen, the German car maker, welcomed the German government's decision to assist the US Justice Department's investigation into possible industrial espionage by Jose Ignacio Lopez de Arriortua, VW's production chief.

Longden leaves

John Longden, director of British Coal's Midlands Group, is to leave the company after 34 years. Mr Longden, who is 54, said that privatisation of the coal industry made his departure and that of many colleagues inevitable.


New York: Strength in the treasury market helped to drive the Dow Jones Industrial Average 17.81 points higher to close at 3,768.71.

Tokyo: The quietest week of the year ended with a fall of 157.53 by the Nikkei average to 20,663.83.

Hong Kong: Late buying brought a partial recovery, leaving the Hang Seng index 59.98 points weaker at 9,464.56.

Sydney: Fears of an impending rise in interest rates lowered the All Ordinaries 10.9 to 2,051.9.

Bombay: Heavy buying sent the index to an all-time high of 4,508.15, a gain of 113.88 points.

Johannesburg: Most sectors weakened as the overall index retreated 71 points to 5,812.

Paris: Trimming early heavy losses after a rebound in bond futures, the CAC-40 index closed 31.98 points down at 2,006.95.

Frankfurt: Hit by bond weakness, the DAX index tumbled 30.6 points to 2,124.68.

Zurich: Wall Street's firm opening restricted the SPI's loss to 4.99 points at 1,715.03.

London: Report, page 13.