Business and City in Brief

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Hopes rise for cut in German rates

Hopes of a cut in the key German discount interest rate were boosted by figures showing slower growth in the German money supply, down from an annual 13.4 per cent in May to 11.3 per cent in June.

The dollar did well following an unexpectedly large dollars 9.17bn May trade deficit, in which the deficit with Japan shrank to dollars 4.39bn. Helped by rumours of instability in Korea, the dollar rose by Y0.81 and 0.87 pfennigs.

More Pillsbury dough

Pillsbury, the US food subsidiary of Grand Metropolitan, is buying Martha White, a branded baking-mix business in Tennessee for an undisclosed amount. Martha has annual sales of around dollars 165m ( pounds 109m).

Airtours in Spain

Airtours, the UK's second-largest tour operator, has paid pounds 6.8m for the Binimar Holiday complex in Menorca, Spain.

Honda expansion

Honda Motor Company will expand its manufacturing capacity in the US and Canada, adding 1,100 jobs by 1998. Honda's plans include a 50 per cent increase in the number of engines built, to 750,000 a year by 1998.

Merrill Lynch dip

Merrill Lynch, the US's biggest brokerage, was hit by lower trading profits at dollars 561m, down from a record dollars 743m, in the second quarter.

GE's record profit

General Electric, the industrial, broadcasting and financial services group, which owns troubled brokerage Kidder Peabody, made record net income of dollars 1.55bn, a 14 per cent increase over the previous dollars 1.33bn, while revenues rose by 10 per cent to reach dollars 16.2bn in the second quarter. The result included Kidder's net losses of dollars 29m.

Abbey acquisition

Abbey National Financial Services, the independent financial advisory subsidiary of Abbey National, has acquired GM Benefit Consulting Group and its subsidiary and related companies, for an undisclosed cash sum.

World Bank aims The World Bank - a group of five financial institutions dominated by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the development lending arm - said it would strengthen efforts to meet fundamental objectives in developing countries such as minimum health care and education, and the elimination of malnutrition within the next generation. It also stressed stimulating economic reform to create jobs.

View from City Road, page 27

WORLD MARKETS

New York: Many investors stayed on the sidelines and by closing the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 7.12 points down at 3,748.31.

Tokyo: Trade focusing on smaller companies took the Nikkei average up 57.52 to 20,775.16.

Hong Kong: Bargain-hunting, mainly in HSBC Holdings, trimmed losses, leaving the Hang Seng 48.82 weaker at 9,145.01.

Sydney: Clawing back early losses, the All Ordinaries index ended 5.1 firmer at 2,077.4.

Bombay: Late buying by mutual funds enabled the index to close 11.36 to the good at 4,109.47.

Johannesburg: As the firmer trend ran out of steam the overall index dipped 39 points to 5,549.

Paris: Firmer bonds helped the CAC-40 index to 2,052.33, an improvement of 27.2 points.

Frankfurt: A sharp rise in the last few minutes of trade lifted the DAX index 30.6 to 2,128.79.

Zurich: Lower interest rates and a firm dollar supported the market as the Swiss Performance Index rose 11.53 points to 1,670.19.

London: Report, page 26.

Comments