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The Independent Online
News Corp takes stake in Fairfax

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has bought 1.7 per cent of John Fairfax, the Australian newspaper group in which Conrad Black's the Telegraph has a 25 per cent stake and Kerry Packer, the Australian mogul, 15 per cent. News Corp said the stake was a passive investment made on 15 June.

Pounds 7bn Exchange record

A record pounds 7bn was raised by 141 new UK and Irish companies on the London Stock Exchange in the first half of 1994 - more than three times the amount in the same period last year and exceeding the pounds 5.9bn raised in the whole of 1993.

Royal nod for Coal

The Coal Industry Bill has received Royal Assent and becomes the Coal Industry Act. The Government plans to sell British Coal, possibly in separate regional packages, by early next year. It is providing information on the company to more than 30 potential buyers and expects to receive bids by the middle of September.

SIB pays out pounds 1m

The Securities and Investments Board, the senior City watchdog, is handing back more than pounds 1m in fees to its frontline regulators because it says they paid too much in levies in previous years. Organisations receiving refunds include the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation, pounds 137,000; the Securities and Futures Authority, pounds 120,000; and the London Stock Exchange, pounds 290,000. The Institute of Actuaries will get back pounds 1,784.

Trinity in Malaysia

Trinity International has taken a 35 per cent, pounds 3.5m share in a venture in Malaysia to overhaul the country's entire 30,000- strong public bus system. The buses will be assembled initially from complete kits supplied from the UK.

German jobless down

Unemployment in Germany fell by a stronger-than-expected 70,900 to 3.59 million in June, as the Labour Office said the end of the recession was making itself felt on the jobs market in the west. Western German industry orders were down 0.2 per cent in May from the previous month, with foreign orders dropping 2.7 per cent.

No Stone unturned

Royal Bank of Scotland's US subsidiary, Citizens Financial Group, has received US government approval of its bid for the branches, dollars 1.1bn of deposits and selected loans of Old Stone Federal Savings Bank of Rhode Island, which went into receivership in 1993.

Honda in China

Honda Motor of Japan agreed to set up a car manufacturing joint venture with a Chinese company, Dongfeng Automotive Corp, in southern Guangdong province.

World Markets

New York: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 22.02 at 3,674.50 on unchanged interest rates following a Federal Reserve board meeting.

Tokyo: Lacklustre trade due to the dollar's slide against the yen took the Nikkei average 205.34 points lower to 20,629.03.

Hong Kong: Shares moved lower, with the Hang Seng 168.27 points in arrears at 8,454.92.

Sydney: A firmer opening was not maintained as the All Ordinaries index fell 12.2 to 1,991.2.

Bombay: The market drifted in dull, directionless trade. The index eased 3.73 points to 4,098.33.

Johannesburg: Finance minister Derek Keys' surprise resignation and a softer gold price combined to push the overall index down 47 points to 5,403.

Frankfurt: With investors immobilised ahead of today's Bundesbank council meeting, the DAX edged up 3.01 to 2,035.7.

Paris: A downward turn in bond markets took prices off their highs. The CAC-40 index closed 10.26 points ahead at 1,888.99.

Zurich: Volume was very thin as the Swiss Performance Index eased 6.97 points to 1,722.14.

London: Report, page 32.