Business and City in Brief

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British Steel lodges appeal

British Steel and five other companies have appealed to the European Court against fines imposed on them by the EC for allegedly running a cartel in steel beams.

British Steel called on the court to cancel a fine of ecu32m ( pounds 22m) imposed in February when 16 European firms were fined a total of ecu104m.

Lasmo bid extended

Enterprise Oil has, as expected, extended its offer for Lasmo until 17 June, but made no mention of whether it might improve its all-share bid. Enterprise said it had received acceptances for 0.72 per cent of Lasmo, amounting to just over 7 million shares, by the first closing date on Tuesday.

BAT sale raises pounds 55m

BAT Industries, the tobacco and insurance combine, has sold its South African snack foods business for pounds 55m. Willards Foods, which makes and distributes potato chips and other snacks, will become part of National Brands, a subsidiary of Anglovaal Industries.

Anglo American up

Anglo American Corp of South Africa, announcing a sharp rise in share earnings for the year to 31 March, said there were good prospects for sustained growth as the new government was committed to reconciliation and prudent economic policies.

Schneider case arrest

An Iranian businessman suspected of helping fugitive German property developer Jurgen Schneider was arrested and detained in Frankfurt.

Opel 'misled public'

The chairman of Volkswagen's supervisory board, Klaus Liesen, accused Opel of deliberately misleading the public over the Lopez affair. He told the annual meeting that Opel had spent the past nine months trying to create the impression that Jose Ignacio Lopez, VW's production chief, had taken secret documents when he left Opel's parent, General Motors, in March last year, without producing evidence.

Walker jury

The jury in the trial of former Brent Walker chairman George Walker and finance director Wilfred Aquilina is expected to be sworn in this morning. Both men are charged with theft.

Float postponed

Life Style Care, the nursing homes company, became the latest victim of the turbulence in equity markets, postponing its flotation on the stock market.

Deregulation call

(First Edition)

The EU has proposed that Europe fully deregulate, liberalise and privatise its telecommunications sectors. An action plan calls for members to end monopolies on infrastructure and service, and remove non-commercial political barriers.

Job for Kemp-Welch

(First Edition)

John Kemp-Welch, the former senior partner of Cazenove & Co who is soon to become chairman of the Stock Exchange, has joined the board of Sun Alliance.

Pounds 10m Racal buy

(First Edition)

Racal Electronics is buying 80 per cent of Singapore-based Techno Transfer Industries for pounds 9.7m in cash. TTI manufactures and operates remotely operated subversible vehicles, providing services to the offshore industry in south-east Asia.


New York: Shares overcame a poor start, prompted by inflation worries, and by the close the Dow Jones Average was up 2.46 points at 3,760.83.

Tokyo: The Nikkei 225 closed up 79.52 points at 21,053.11 on continued overseas support.

Hong Kong: Lack of overseas interest depressed the Hang Seng index 41.49 to 9,512.07.

Sydney: Stronger-than-expected economic growth lifted the All Ordinaries index 15.4 at 2,097.2

Johannesburg: Gold shares led gains across the board, leaving the overall index 24 points better at 5,420.

Zurich: Short-covering on the futures market lifted the SMI index 3.94 to 2,731.5.

Milan: The Mibtel index ended down 53 at 11,749 after losing early gains on institutional buying.

Madrid: Weak bond prices lowered the general index by 5.62 points to 321.38.

Frankfurt: The DAX index edged two ahead at 2,129.70, held back by nervous bunds.

Paris: Share prices declined sharply for the second consecutive day, with the CAC-40 index falling 50.22 to end at 1,979.68.

London: Report, page 34.