Business and City in Brief

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Montague deal confirmed Oxford County Court yesterday confirmed an agreement between the Tiphook chief executive Robert Montague and Royal Bank of Scotland, which has lodged a pounds 2.3m bankruptcy petition against him, allowing him another month to negotiate a settlement with his creditors.

Lawyers for the two sides reached the agreement on Thursday but yesterday's court hearing, held in camera, confirmed it.

OMI purchase OMI International, the measurement technology company, is buying Castlet for pounds 7m cash. Castlet makes electronic devices and control systems. OMI is raising pounds 9.5m net via a rights issue.

Mentor payment Liquidators of a Bermuda-based reinsurance company, Mentor Insurance, which collapsed in 1985, are making a payment to creditors worth 30 cents in the dollar (dollars 150m), bringing the total payout so far to 55 cents in the dollar.

Desk hell spreads The trend towards 'hot-desking' is accelerating, according to a survey of office users by Richard Ellis, the property consultants. More than a third of the companies interviewed said at least 10 per cent of their workforce shared desks.

BMW sales up BMW, the German carmaker, saw worldwide car unit sales rise by 13 per cent in September due to better demand for the 3-series and new 7-series cars. In the first nine months of the year BMW's sales rose 8.5 per cent to DM23.8bn.

Names wait The 3,000 Lloyd's names who won an action for negligence against the Gooda Walker underwriting agency will have to await a fresh trial ordered by the judge to decide whether there should be an interim payment. Names taking action elsewhere in the market are worried that there may be no money left by the time their own cases are heard.

Hiscox issue Hiscox Dedicated Insurance Fund, a corporate capital vehicle that invests solely in Lloyd's syndicates managed by the Hiscox agency, has had its pounds 26.6m share issue fully underwritten by Trident Partnership, a Bermudan company.

Dogs in clear Sir Bryan Carsberg, Director-General of Fair Trading, will take no further action on the rules of the National Greyhound Racing Club which prohibit racing at independent tracks.

World Markets New York: Encouraging inflation figures sent the Dow Jones Average romping ahead. By the close it was up 55.51 points at 3,930.66.

Tokyo: Uncertainty over the yen-dollar rate kept trade thin as the Nikkei average edged up 8.8 points to 19,805.16.

Hong Kong: The rally extended into a third day, with the Hang Seng index jumping 74.89 points to 9,379.47.

Sydney: Options expiry boosted volume. The All Ordinaries retreated 11 points to 2,021.2.

Bombay: Selling by some institutions helped to send the index 38.75 lower to 4,289.49.

Johannesburg: A late recovery from earlier losses left the index 15 points better at 5,750.

Paris: Prices climbed steeply on American GDP data. The CAC-40 rose 47.58 to 1,874.81.

Frankfurt: Quiet, technically- inspired trade took the DAX index 27.12 higher to 2,040.32.

Zurich: The dollar's strength helped to carry the SPI up 20.16 points to 1,650.7.

Vienna: Following Germany's positive lead, the ATX index added 4.94 points to 1,025.13.

London: Report, page 15.

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