Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
Capital investment spending up

Manufacturers raised their spending on capital investment by 4 per cent in the second quarter after adjusting for inflation and normal seasonal changes, the Central Statistical Office said yesterday.

Their stocks of unsold goods and work in progress rose by pounds 58m in 1990 prices, out of a pounds 173m total rise for production and distribution industries.

Friendly growth

Friendly Hotels, the regional hotel operator which also owns the New Connaught Rooms in London, saw pre-tax profits grow by 41 per cent to pounds 936,000 for the six months to 12 June as the group's occupancy levels and room rates rose. Friendly operates 24 hotels in the UK outside London. It has another in France and two in Denmark.

Moscow centre

Racal, the electronics and defence group, has won a pounds 2m contract to supply an advanced wireless data network for the Moscow region, which will be used for security and credit authorisation.

Midland yields

Midlands Electricity has agreed to accept new electricity distribution price controls announced two weeks ago by Offer, the industry regulator. More than half of the regional electricity firms have accepted the price cap.

PIA recruit

Mark Warboyes, former Fimbra investigations manager, has joined the Personal Investment Authority as head of investigations. He will replace Jim Gaskin who resigned earlier this month to become managing director of a network of independent financial advisers.

EU inflation down

Annual inflation in the European Union fell 2 percentage points to a seven-year low of 3 per cent in July, the European Commission's statistics office Eurostat said.

Deadline put back

The deadline for new offers from Accor and Forte for part of Air France's stake in Meridien hotels has been delayed to 25 August instead of 23 August, Accor and Forte said.

Dennis Publishing

Contrary to the impression given in yesterday's edition, Computer Shopper in the UK is published by Dennis Publishing, an independent publishing house, with no connection with Ziff Communications, which publishes Computer Shopper in the US.