The joint disciplinary scheme of the main accountancy bodies confirmed that it is to investigate the role played by Stoy Hayward and other accountants in advising Polly Peck International, the conglomerate headed by Asil Nadir that collapsed in 1990.
Stoy is also subject to a similar inquiry, announced earlier this month, into its role in the failure of the munitions group Astra.
Barclays has formed a joint venture with Mercury One-2- One, the mobile telephone network, allowing customers free access from their mobile phones to a range of Barclaycard services. In future people should be able to use the link to pay household bills and to shop while on the move.
Rudolph Agnew, chairman of Lasmo, faced hostile questions about directors' pay packages from shareholders at yesterday's annual meeting. Mr Agnew, trying to muster shareholder support against Enterprise Oil's takeover bid, said his team were worth it. 'If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys,' he said.
IBM advertising coup
IBM will give Ogilvy & Mather all its worldwide advertising business, worth up to dollars 500m ( pounds 340m), industry sources said. The move would consolidate the account from more than 40 advertising agencies around the world.
Rathbones Brothers, the private client investment management group, has acquired another pounds 35m of funds through the purchase of Evensound, a London investment manager. The price was pounds 515,000.
Lautro, the life insurance regulator, is re-examining its commission rules ahead of the commission disclosure that will become compulsory in January.
South Africa's April trade surplus fell 899m rand ( pounds 162m) - 35.2 per cent - to 1.66bn rand, according to Customs and Excise figures. In March it rose 1.47bn rand to 2.56bn rand.
Alitalia, the Italian state airline, plans to cut office and ground staff by up to 3,500 in the next four years as part of a rescue package, trades union sources said. The airline lost some dollars 200m last year and a further dollars 110m in the first quarter of 1994.
The Italian Treasury cionfirmed that it is selling 51 per cent of the state insurer Istituto Nazionale per le Assicurazioni through a public share offer and a private placement.
New York: A cautious rally in early trading had petered out by closing as the Dow Jones average's 22-point gain was reduced to 2.76 points at 3,745.17.
Tokyo: Active trade carried the Nikkei average 53.41 points higher to close at 20,622.12.
Hong Kong: With buyers staying away after Wall Street's overnight fall, the Hang Seng index dropped 99.67 points to 9,490.11.
Sydney: Firm metal prices lifted sentiment as the All Ordinaries moved up 11.4 points to 2,132.4.
Bombay: Renewed selling from speculators affected by the ban on forward trade lowered the index 41.01 points to 3,696.22.
Johannesburg: Shares were little changed, with gold slightly higher and industrials easier. The index lost seven points to 5,518.
Frankfurt: The DAX index moved sharply lower in very thin trade as weakness affected the bond market. It ended 49.66 points adrift at 2,199.99.
Paris: Pessimism over interest rates contributed to a 22.11-point fall by the CAC-40 to 2,133.32.
Zurich: In thin trade the Swiss Performance Index retreated 20.81 points to 1,767.62.
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