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The Independent Online
Share options for Tiphook chief

Robert Montague, chief executive and former chairman of Tiphook, the transport leasing company, has been granted 500,000 share options at an exercise price of 35p and a further 500,000 options at 100p.

The company, which was forced to sell its container-rental arm - its biggest business - to ease huge debts, last week reported losses of pounds 331m before tax for the year to 30 April. The shares closed at 38p yesterday.

Esab bid extended

Charter has extended its pounds 260m offer for Esab, the Swedish welding equipment maker, until 26 August, having gained few acceptances beyond those pledged by Incentive, Esab's controlling shareholder, which has 47 per cent of the shares and 53 per cent of the votes. Together with market purchases, Charter now has 49 per cent of the shares and 57 per cent of Esab's votes.

BOC purchase

BOC Group is paying up to pounds 10.7m for Calumatic, a supplier of filling, sterlising lines and equipment to the pharmaceutical industry. The purchase will give BOC complete packaging solutions for a wide variety of injectable formulations.

New exchange rules

The Stock Exchange has brought in new rules to increase the attractions of depositary receipts - negotiable certificates representing shares. In future issues will be based on the less demanding European Union listing requirements and will dispense with the need for a sponsor provided a market maker registers in the stock.

Skipton rises 69%

Skipton Building Society's pre- tax profits increased 69 per cent from pounds 4.17m to pounds 7.04m in the first half of this year. The society made pounds 10.51m profit overall last year. The number of mortgages in arrears, including possessions, fell by a further 12 per cent in the first six months of this year. Newcastle Building Society's interim pre-tax profits increased marginally to pounds 6.6m from pounds 6.4m last year. The society made pounds 13.89m profit last year overall.

Relyon raises dividend

Relyon, the bed manufacturer, has increased its interim dividend by more than 10 per cent to 2.1p after a 34 per cent surge in profits from pounds 1.9m to pounds 2.6m in the first half of the year.

KPMG Peat Marwick

KPMG Peat Marwick, the accountant, is not being sued by Ernst & Young, the liquidators of the failed financial services group British & Commonwealth, contrary to the impression given in Saturday's paper.


New York: Shares closed lower as investors braced for an expected rate rise from the FOMC meeting today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 8.42 points at 3,760.29.

Tokyo: Thin trading saw prices close mixed. The Nikkei average fell 37.50 points to 20,626.33.

Hong Kong: Bargain hunting left shares slightly higher. The Hang Seng index rose 21.57 points to 9,486.13.

Sydney: Stocks closed slightly higher. The All Ordinaries Index rose 3.9 points to 2,055.7.

Bombay: Closed for Independence Day holiday.

Johannesburg: Shares ended easier on a lacklustre gold price. The index ended off 21 points at 5,790.

Paris: Closed for Assumption Day holiday.

Frankfurt: After a thin floor session, the DAX finished at 2,138.84, up 14.16 points.

Zurich: Lethargic trading saw prices close slightly lower. The Swiss Performance Index lost 4.75 to 1,710.28.

London: Report, see page 28.