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Cellnet shrugs off competition

Cellnet, the mobile telephone operator jointly owned by BT and Securicor, shrugged off the fierce competition in its market yesterday, saying it was signing up subscribers at a rate of 10,000 a week. Its estimated net subscriber numbers in the three months to 30 June rose to 127,800 from 54,750 in the same period last year.

'At this rate of growth Cellnet will have 2 million subscribers by 1996,' it said.

Chiltern bid foiled

The Daily Mail & General Trust yesterday threw a spanner into Cie Luxembourgeoise de Telediffusion's pounds 17m bid for Chiltern Radio. The Mail group, which owns 18.5 per cent of Chiltern, said it firmly rejected CLT's 242p-a-share bid and was paying 300p a share to take its stake up to 28.45 per cent in concert with European Media Associates.

Coal joint venture

Coal Investments, the company run by British Coal's former commercial director Malcolm Edwards, has obtained the lease and mining licence at Silverdale colliery in Staffordshire. The company is to place 11.7 million shares at 68p each to fund the Silverdale lease and a joint venture with RTZ.

dollars 950m GPA offer

GPA, the aircraft-leasing company that narrowly avoided bankruptcy last year, has returned to the public capital markets, offering dollars 950m worth of new lease-backed bonds with the help of its new backer, General Electric Capital.

GM salutes rival

General Motors chief executive John Smith will visit Volkswagen's plant in China on Monday. It could signal a thaw in relations with VW, soured by allegations that Jose Ignacio Lopez de Arriortua took GM secrets with him when he joined VW as production chief.

Adding to Finelist

Finelist, the car parts distributor that floated at a value of pounds 28m in March, has announced a pounds 20m takeover to be funded partly by a pounds 12m rights issue. The acquisition of EW Holdings from Unipart will give Finelist 170 outlets against 73 now.

BAe job losses

British Aerospace said 188 jobs would be lost at its Royal Ordnance arms factory in Nottingham after the loss of an assault rifles contract with the army.

Prudential nets pounds 30m

Prudential, the insurance group, is to sell its long-term Irish business for Irish Permanent Building Society for pounds 30m.

World Markets

New York: In quiet trading ahead of the long weekend, nibbling by institutions lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average 21.69 to 3,646.65 by the close.

Tokyo: Prices came off their lows as the dollar firmed against the yen in late trade. The Nikkei average fell 100.52 to 20,543.41.

Hong Kong: Bargain-hunting cut losses as the Hang Seng index ended 124.04 off at 8,634.37.

Sydney: Pressure on the US dollar undermined sentiment, with the All Ordinaries index retreating 23.3 points to 1,965.8.

Bombay: The new trading account opened with a 60.82-point gain by the index to 4,147.54.

Johannesburg: Softer industrials and firm gold shares left the index three points easier at 5,400.

Frankfurt: A slight recovery in bonds helped the DAX index to add 11.18 points to 2,036.52.

Paris: A volatile session ended with the CAC-40 index 19.14 points in decline at 1,872.86.

Zurich: The weak dollar triggered an 11.68-point Swiss Performance Index fall to 1,717.34.

London: Report, page 13.