Business and City in Brief

Credit Lyonnais to close offices

Credit Lyonnais, the French bank, has abandoned ambitions to expand in retail banking in Britain and is closing its two branches in London with the loss of about 60 jobs. The bank said it was concentrating on corporate banking, corporate finance, capital markets and international private banking. Ambitions to buy a building society or other retail outlet have been dropped.

Record cash levels

The liquid assets of large non- manufacturing companies were at their highest level for more than 15 years in June, the Central Statistical Office said. For large companies overall, liquidity was at a 10-year high.

Lucas contract

Lucas Industries has won a pounds 20m contract to supply brake components to Ford's plant in South Wales. Part of the contract is to provide parts for a new model Ford plans to put into production in mid-1995.

Cold shoulder

The mining group RTZ and Hanson, the Anglo-US conglomerate, have shunned the privatisation of British Coal. Bids for the five regions close today and there is now unlikely to be a big international mining group in the final tendering stage.

Pit strategy, page 26

Airports record

August was the busiest month on record for BAA. The airports authority handled a total of 9.2 million passengers, a 6.4 per cent increase on the same month last year. Heathrow handled just over 5 million passengers, 7.2 per cent up. Gatwick's traffic grew by 3.3 per cent while Stansted saw numbers increase by 13.4 per cent.

Talks revived

Rolls-Royce is resuming negotiations over a power station contract in Malaysia following the lifting of the trade ban on British firms. The company said talks were also resuming on the formation of a joint venture with a private Malaysian company, Electric Power Corporation.

Bank staff claim

Bifu, the banking and finance union, said Barclays had admitted it was experiencing staff shortages in in London and the South-east less than three months after sacking 400 people.

Honda jobs plan

Honda said it planned to create 2,000 new jobs in Britain over the next five years. Some 500 workers will be taken on at the Swindon plant with the rest of the vacancies at component suppliers throughout the country.

Milk review sought

The Dairy Trade Federation, representing most milk processors, yesterday applied for a judicial review of the new system for supplying milk in an effort to force the Government to introduce proper controls in the soon to be deregulated milk market.

New York: Better-than-expected consumer prices figures helped stocks regain some lost ground. The Dow Jones Average closed 19.52 points higher at 3,879.86.

Tokyo: Index-linked buying lifted the Nikkei average 128.83 points to 20,046.11 in thin trade.

Hong Kong: Cautious trading took the Hang Seng index up 46.64 points to 9,937.01.

Sydney: Strong performances from BHP and News Corporation led the All Ordinaries index 10.8 points higher to 2,043.6.

Bombay: After touching a new peak the index fell back to end 29.15 in arrears at 4,599.42.

Johannesburg: A steady gold price failed to provide any impetus as the overall index surrendered 24 points to 5,859.

Paris: Recovering from early falls on the back of an improvement in bond futures, the CAC- 40 ended 2.57 easier at 1,969.36.

Frankfurt: Quiet trade saw the DAX index slip 18.52 to 2,136.09.

Zurich: Encouraged by the US consumer price figures, the SPI advanced 9.5 points to 1,751.88.

London: Report, page 26.

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