Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
Supermarkets fight back

The big supermarket groups have cut their prices by an average 8.6 per cent over the past year as they bid to win back business from discount retailers, according to Verdict Research.

That leaves a basket of goods from one of the large supermarkets just 5 per cent more expensive than from a discounter.

Saatchi pay boost

Charles Scott, who became chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi in April last year, saw his salary rise a third year-on-year to pounds 300,000, according to the advertising group's annual report. He also received a bonus for 1992 of pounds 20,598.

Growth investment

Midland Assets, a new company headed by Nicholas Oppenheim, is planning to raise pounds 2.4m through a placing and open offer which it will use to invest in businesses with growth prospects, or solid income. The first deal is likely to be the purchase of the nursing homes business of Northern Leisure, the leisure company where Mr Oppenheim is vice-chairman.

Testing times

The Securities Institute is to launch tough tests for more than 2,000 fund managers supervised by City regulator Imro as part of an industry-wide drive to raise standards in financial services.

Bifu pickets

(First Edition)

About 100 members of Bifu, the banking union, are to hold a mass meeting and picket workers at the centralised securities office of Barclays Bank today. They are protesting about the withdrawal of salary protection following reorganisation at Barclays.

TODAY 3.5.94

M0 figures (Apr, prov), Treasury panel of independent forecasters meet, big British banking groups' mortgage lending (Mar). US leading indicators (Mar), German manufacturing orders (Mar).

Interims: Celltech, Premium Underwriting, Unigroup.

Finals: Elswick, GBE Int, German Inv Trust, Govett Oriental Inv Trust, Jove Inv Trust, Silentnight Hldgs.

TOMORROW 4.5.94

UK official reserves (Apr), Chancellor and Governor meet, monthly monetary report (May), US factory orders (Mar).

Interims: BAT Inds (Q1), Bellway, Dakota, Finsbury Growth Trust, On Demand Information, Tate & Lyle.

Finals: Albany Inv Trust, James Beattie, German Smaller Companies Inv Trust, Silvermines.

THURSDAY 5.5.94

US productivity (Q1).

Interims: British Petroleum (Q1), Titon Hldgs, Vard (Q1).

Finals: Aminex, BMSS, Bank of Scotland, Body Shop Int, CSC Inv Trust, Forward, Gartmore American Securities, Greenway Hldgs, Highcroft Inv Trust, Radamec, Regent Corp, Westminster Scaffolding.

FRIDAY 6.5.94

UK cyclical indicators (Apr), money statistics (Mar), British banking groups' analysis of lending (Q1).

Interims: Broadgate Inv Trust.

Finals: JO Walker & Co.

WORLD MARKETS

New York: Demand for cyclicals overcame weakness in bond prices to boost the Dow Jones Average 19.33 points to 3,701.02 by the close.

Tokyo: The strong yen and declining futures contributed to a 155.04-point fall in the Nikkei 225 index to 19,570.21.

Hong Kong: The Hang Seng Index shed 166.37 to 8,799.70 amid weakness in properties.

Bombay: Disappointment at the lack of news about a new forward trading system lowered the BSE index 25.28 to 3,720.72.

Sydney: Weakness in Tokyo undermined sentiment, leaving the All Ordinaries index 18.2 lower at 2,047.9.

Johannesburg: Shares marked time as investors awaited political developments. The overall index gained two points to 5,361.

Zurich: Ciba and Nestle led the SMI index 28.9 higher at 2,765.2

Frankfurt: Foreign buying and increasing optimism about the economy lifted the DAX index 22.67 to 2,268.65.

Paris: Strong overseas support for LVMH and Christian Dior helped the CAC-40 index to a gain of 20.27 points at 2,186.23.

London: Closed.

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