Business and City in Brief

Stuart May heads Forte operation

Forte, the hotels group, has completed the recruitment of divisional managing directors announced last June with the appointment of Stuart May, former head of Rank's UK and US hotels business, to run its Heritage operation.

He will be responsible for 101 'character' hotels in the UK and Ireland.

New issue mooted

NM Smaller Australian Companies Trust, chaired by Andrew Buxton of Barclays, is canvassing potential demand for an issue of 'C' shares. The new equity would be structured to ensure there was no dilution of existing shareholders.

Busiest quarter

Last year was the first full year in which foreign stocks accounted for more than 50 per cent of total London equity trading, according to a survey from the London Stock Exchange. The fourth quarter was the busiest on record with the most active sectors being Japan, France and Germany.

Food for thought

Nearly a third of UK food manufacturers could be bought over the next two to three years, according to research from Price Waterhouse, the accountancy firm. French, Swiss, Italian and US multinationals are all believed to be planning acquisitions to expand their pan-European positions.