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Lenders agree to list valuation fee

Mortgage lenders are to accept a recent Monopolies and Mergers Commission recommendation that lenders specify clearly and separately in advance any fee they will require home buyers to pay for a mortgage valuation.

Lenders will also have to make it clear if they accept only valuations from a restricted list of valuers so borrowers who want to order their own survey will not incur extra costs.

Solicitor fraud up

Reported fraud by solicitors rose to pounds 20m in the first half of this year, according to research by KPMG Peat Marwick. The amount is the biggest - even for a full year - since figures began in 1987, with the exception of the record pounds 40m in 1992.

Mortgage rates rise

Leeds and Britannia building societies are lifting their basic mortgage rate to 8.14 per cent. Existing borrowers will pay the new rate from 1 October. TSB's rate is rising to 8.05 per cent.

Bond for Halifax

UBS and Warburg launched a pounds 250m three-year bond for Halifax Building Society, paying interest at 8.75 per cent.

The World Bank is to raise dollars 1.5bn in a global bond issue led by Lehman Brothers and UBS. The issue will be listed in Luxembourg and New York.

Servisair prediction

Servisair, the airport passenger and baggage handler that is planning a flotation, has forecast it will make profits of pounds 4.2m in the year to 31 December compared with pounds 3.1m.

NFC drops scrip plan

NFC, the transport and logistics group, has cancelled its plans for a scrip dividend in respect of the second dividend for 1993/94 after the recent fall in the company's share price.

Water prices soar

Water prices in the UK have risen for businesses by about 4.7 per cent in the past 12 months, nearly twice the rate of inflation, according to a survey by National Utility Services. UK consumers saw the fourth-highest rise in Europe, the report says.

Michelin bounces

Michelin reported first-half net profit of Fr434m against a loss of Fr3.46bn a year earlier. Sales rose 8.7 per cent to Fr33.28bn.

Lonrho inquiry

The Department of Trade and Industry, assisted by the Bank of England, is investigating whether Lonrho breached United Nations' sanctions by selling a film about the Lockerbie bombing to Libyan interests in Egypt. The Sanctions Emergency Unit of the Bank has been asked to look into the financial transaction behind the deal.

World Markets

New York: Computer-guided sell programs exacerbated losses as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 67.63 points to close at 3,869.09.

Tokyo: Public sector buying boosted the Nikkei 225 index 283.16 to 19,837.27.

Hong Kong: The Hang Seng index gained 23.32 to 9,824.75 in dull trading.

Bombay: Share prices plummeted on hectic selling by speculators, and lack of foreign interest. The BSE index shed 65.41 points at 4,488.38.

Sydney: Weakness in the futures market left the All Ordinaries index off 4 at 2,045.1.

Johannesburg: A firmer gold price led the overall index 36 higher at 5,801 despite the stronger financial rand.

Milan: Political worries lowered the Mibtel index 20 at 10,806.

Frankfurt: Shares followed bonds down, leaving the DAX index off 17.80 by the close.

Zurich: Lower bund futures and uncertainty over interest rates depressed the SMI index 28.7 to 2,593.

Paris: The CAC-40 eased 3.62 at 1,919.25.

London: Report, page 32.