Business and City in Brief

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Stock Exchange applies to Crest

The Stock Exchange has applied along with other City firms for a shareholding in the Crest share settlement system after being refused a special deal by the Bank of England. Like other applicants, it can apply for no more than 6 per cent of the new company.

Trio jailed

Three men convicted of defrauding a Russian kit car importer were sentenced to a total of nine years in jail at Portsmouth Crown Court in a case brought by the Serious Fraud Office. Alexander Mullins got five years, Malcolm Jennings three years and Charles Johnson one year. All were disqualified as company directors.

TSB recruit

Paddy Linaker, deputy chairman and group managing director of M&G Group, has been appointed a director of TSB Group. Mr Linaker retires from M&G in July.

Russian deal

Rothmans International will invest dollars 85m (pounds 56.7m) in a tobacco plant in Russia, Interfax news agency said. It signed a 49-year lease for the land, where work was scheduled to end by 1996. Rothmans will also buy a 75 per cent stake in the Nevatabak tobacco plant in St Petersburg, which will produce 10 billion cigarettes annually. The plant will first make Royal and Golden America brands.

Asia fund

Regent Fund Management is launching the Regent South Asia Fund, an open-ended company investing primarily in equities and equity-linked securities of South Asia companies. The fund will initially have a bias towards Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

'Four eyes'

The Personal Investment Authority introduced a maximum 12-month transitional period in relation to the 'four eyes' rule, which bans a firm from holding client money unless managed by at least two independent directors.

Doulton cheer

Cumulative sales for Royal Doulton in the first four months of 1994 were ahead of the same period for 1993, said its chairman, Mark Burrell.

London Arena sold

SMG has bought the 12,500-seat indoor London Arena in Docklands for an unspecified amount. SMG, based in Philadelphia, manages 39 facilities including the Superdome in New Orleans, the Los Angeles Coliseum and the Miami Beach Convention Centre.

World Markets

New York: Higher-than-expected GDP figures lowered shares briefly, but by the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average had risen 3.68 points at 3,757.14.

Tokyo: Share prices moved sharply higher in afternoon trade, taking the Nikkei average up 281.36 points to 20,777.16.

Hong Kong: Recovering from early losses, the Hang Seng index ended 11.58 points off at 9,470.13.

Sydney: Gains among leading industrials lifted the All Ordinaries index 5.3 points to 2,102.2.

Bombay: Buying by speculators and mutual funds pushed the index up 51.95 points to 3,789.95.

Johannesburg: A slight recovery in gold shares on a firmer bullion price restricted the loss by the index to six points at 5,383.

Paris: A weaker bond market wiped out early gains as the CAC-40 fell 41.22 to 2,050.67.

Frankfurt: Quiet, technical trade added 10.74 points to the DAX index, closing at 2,140.99.

Zurich: Good inflation figures helped to send the Swiss Performance Index up 11.78 to 1,780.19.

London: Report, page 14.

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