Business and City in Brief

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Clyde shipyard takes on workers

Kvaerner Govan, the Norwegian-owned shipyard on the Clyde, is recruiting 150 platers and welders. The yard is expanding its workforce to 1,750 because of an increasing workload.

The announcement came as the 100-strong design team at Swan Hunter, the Tyneside shipbuilder in receivership, brace themselves for possible redundancy at the end of this week.

Stephen Byers, MP for Wallsend, said that the Government had refused to intervene to avert the crisis at Swan Hunter.

German rate hopes

Suggestions by a Bundesbank council member that there was room for further cuts in interest rates prompted a temporary recovery in German bond prices, which had fallen 2 per cent in the first two days of this week.

The market closed lower, with traders concluding that interest rate prospects were still unfavourable.

Hans-Jurgen Krupp said in a newspaper interview that if interest rates were going to rise in the medium term in response to the economic upswing, there was scope for them to fall further in the short term. Tax increases planned for next year would dampen growth.

French GDP rises

France's gross domestic product rose 1 per cent in the second quarter of the year and was 2.1 per cent higher than a year earlier.

The increase was driven by consumer spending and investment, although a 1 per cent rise in consumption was due to the government's special tax incentives to buy cars. The impact of these is now unwinding. New car registrations were weaker in July and August than in the second quarter.

Lloyd's hangover

The credit rating agency Standard and Poor's said tackling pre-1985 liablities remained the biggest challenge facing Lloyd's of London.

'Clearly the ring-fencing of pre-1985 liabilities through NewCo is the major issue facing Lloyd's and its long term future,' S&P said in its latest review of the loss-making market.

IBM resignation

IBM Europe's chairman and chief executive, Hans-Olaf Henkel, will retire from the group at the end of the year. Mr Henkel, who has held the posts for less than a year, will be replaced by Lucio Stanca.

Dentists bitten

Italy's finance ministry has targeted dentists and property managers as the first victims for an income tax crackdown, which is expected to bring in an extra 3,000bn lire this year and 13,000bn lire in 1995.

Goldman job

Goldman Sachs in London appointed Andrew Bevan as senior international bond economist and an executive director. Mr Bevan was formerly head of Bear Stearns International's financial analytics and structured transactions group.

World Markets

New York: Shares see-sawed in moderate trading. By the close the Dow Jones Average was above its low but down 12.45 points at 3,886.25.

Tokyo: The market continued to be unsettled by the multi-billion Japan Telecom float. Futures-led selling drove the Nikkei 225 down 370.18 at 20,023.80.

Hong Kong: The Hang Seng index gained 129.90 to 10,165.87 on moderate overseas buying.

Sydney: Weaker banks offset gains among miners, leaving the All Ordinaries a scant 0.8 ahead at 2,104.4.

Johannesburg: The firmer bullion price countered early profit- taking and the overall index advanced 45 to 6,054.

Milan: Political concerns knocked the Mibtel index back 82 to 10,520.

Zurich: The SMI index added 9.9 to 2,662.3 in dull trading.

Paris: Concern about interest rates kept investors sidelined. The CAC-40 index edged ahead 2.75 at 1,964.20.

Frankfurt: Share prices eased with bonds, lowering the DAX index 2.08 to 2,163.82.

London: Report, page 18.

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