Business and City in Brief

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Credit Lyonnais capital injection

The French government will inject new capital into the troubled state-owned Credit Lyonnais bank, Edmond Alphandery, the finance minister, said yesterday.

The figure will not be announced until Credit Lyonnais has published its results tomorrow. It has been planning a restructuring to make it a viable candidate for privatisation.

EU threat to Britain

THE European Commission is expected to decide today to take Britain to the European Court of Justice for failing to implement EU broadcasting legislation. Officials said the Commission would charge that Britain's Broadcasting Act violates an EU directive by operating separate systems for domestic and foreign satellite services. Britain also faces action for permitting the QVC channel to broadcast a 'teleshopping' service 24 hours a day while EU legislation allows only one hour.

Bupa rules out float

Bupa, the leading health insurer, has reported increased profits and ruled out a stock market flotation in the near future. Pre-tax profits last year were pounds 41.2m, a rise of 12.8 per cent. It has made steady improvement since 1990 when it made a loss of pounds 38m.

Steel boycott

British Steel will boycott talks today between the European Commission and the heads of big steel producers over Commission demands for cuts in capacity of up to 25 million tonnes. It decided against further talks until the Commission acts to stop subsidies for weaker producers in the EU.

B&C payout

Creditors of British & Commonwealth Merchant Bank, which went into administration with its parent B&C in 1991, received a further payment of 7p in the pound yesterday, taking the total amount paid to 100p in the pound. Further interest payments to creditors are in the pipeline, say the administrators, Ernst & Young.

Japan edges up

Japan's economy grew a modest 0.1 per cent in 1993 after shrinking in the final quarter, the Economic Planning Agency said. Economists said Japan had probably put the worst of its slump behind it but some were still cautious. GDP shrank by an annualised 2.2 per cent in the last quarter and a real 0.6 per cent from the previous quarter.

Past the post

Racecourse Holdings Trust has won the battle for United Racecourses, owner of Epsom, Sandown and Kempton Park. RHT will pay pounds 30.3m for United, pounds 1m of which is conditional on the level of sponsorship for the Derby in 1995 and 1996.

World Markets

New York: As investors resigned themselves to the Fed's decision to push short-term rates higher, the Dow Jones average lost 2.30 points to close at 3,862.55.

Tokyo: Selling by institutions in light trade pulled the Nikkei average down 215.92 to 20,253.92.

Hong Kong: Bargain-hunting after recent falls gave the Hang Seng index its biggest gain of the year - 345.14 points to 9,012.17.

Sydney: Making good an early 15-point slide, the All Ordinaries index closed 0.3 firmer at 2,140.8.

Bombay: Shares were pushed further into the doldrums when a broker was declared in default. The index fell 28.95 to 3,791.7.

Johannesburg: Another strong performance by the gold sector offset weakness on the part of industrials. The overall index edged up one point to 5,231.

Paris: Concern over interest rates continued to weigh on the market. The CAC-40 index eased 2.01 points to 2,200.68.

Frankfurt: Short-covering helped the DAX index to add 10.06 points to 2,141.34.

Zurich: A technical correction in thin trade lifted the Swiss Performance Index 13.11 to 1,882.45.

London: Report, page 28.

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