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The Independent Online
BAT wins share of Moscow factory

The British conglomerate BAT Industries has won an investment tender by the Moscow Property Fund for shares in the Java tobacco factory in return for an agreement to invest more than dollars 70m in the factory.

The investment programme, phased over three years, will improve the quality of the factory's cigarettes and increase production capacity. Java represents BAT's fifth agreement to invest in Eastern Europe, bringing the group's eventual production capacity in the region to more than pounds 100bn.

Microsoft deal

Microsoft will buy Intuit, developer of the best-selling Quicken line of personal financial software, for dollars 1.5bn, the companies said late yesterday. Intuit's owners will receive the equivalent of dollars 71 a share worth of Microsoft shares, a premium of almost 50 per cent over Intuit's trading price yesterday.

Fighting back

The legal challenge against Deutsche Bank and Metallgesellschaft brought by MG's disgraced US head, Arthur Benson, opens today in America. Alleging disinformation, libel and defamation, Mr Benson is seeking dollars 1.5bn in damages from his former employer and its principal shareholder and creditor.

Murdoch move

Rupert Murdoch plans to acquire the outstanding 40 per cent of Cruden Investments, the private company that owns 32 per cent of News Corporation, for his children.

Joining ASB

The Accounting Standards Board has strengthened industry and commerce representation with the appointment of David Allvey, finance director of BAT Industries, as its 10th member.

GKN purchase

The engineering and defence group GKN has bought Glover Webb, the Hampshire armoured vehicle manufacturer.

Fisher deal

Albert Fisher, the food group, has sold its canning and bottling businesses to Campbell Grocery Products for pounds 37m. The businesses, formerly owned by Fisher's Stratford-upon- Avon Foods and Rowats Foods subsidiaries, are involved in the canning of fruit and vegetables and the bottling of pickles. In the latest trading year they contributed profits of pounds 3.1m.

Greycoat changes

Greycoat, the property developer that underwent a financial restructuring earlier this year, said Richard Guignard, the group's joint managing director, would leave the company today. Peter Thornton becomes sole managing director. Two non-executive directors, George Constantinidi and George Pitt, have also resigned, to be replaced by Stephen James and David Tucker.

WORLD MARKETS

New York: Prices surged on the release of September producer price data but retreated at the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 14.80 points higher at 3,889.95.

Tokyo: Foreign buying of steel and chemical shares lifted the Nikkei average 59.11 to 20,148.83.

Hong Kong: Closed (holiday).

Sydney: In cautious trade the All Ordinaries index closed off its low but 3.7 easier at 1,998.9.

Bombay: Closed (holiday).

Johannesburg: Despite a falling bullion price both industrial and gold stocks ended higher, with the index 53 better at 5,612.

Frankfurt: The DAX, up 5.06 to 2,082.63 in floor trade, topped 2,100 in after-hours dealing.

Paris: Shares and bond prices benefited from the US price statistics. The CAC-40 index climbed 37.54 points to 1,955.68.

Zurich: Active trade took the Swiss Performance Index up 15.71 points to 1,716.59.

Milan: Early losses were made good, with the Mibtel index adding 107 points to 10,220.

London: Report, page 34.

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