Business and City in Brief

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Maxwell treasurer given bail

Albert Fuller, the former group treasurer of Maxwell Communication Corporation, appeared in court yesterday charged with conspiracy to defraud Credit Suisse of pounds 50m.

Magistrates granted Mr Fuller conditional bail to reappear on July 19, when co-defendants Kevin and Ian Maxwell, Larry Trachtenberg, the former adviser to Maxwell companies, and Robert Bunn, a former Maxwell finance director, will also be before the court.

MO accelerates

The growth of narrow money supply, M0, accelerated further last month, rising by about 5 per cent in the 12 months to March. According to market estimates, based on the latest weekly figures for notes and coin in circulation, official figures on Monday will reveal the fastest growth rate of narrow money since mid-1990, when the recession began. The increase compares with 4.5 per cent in the year to February.

British Gas delay

The Monopolies and Mergers Commission inquiry into British Gas has been extended until the end of July. The report from the MMC was expected by the end of this month.

PowerGen sales

Offer, the electricity watchdog, has given PowerGen permission to sell freely to large electricity customers. Until now PowerGen's direct sales to large companies have been limited to a set percentage of the market in each of the 12 areas covered by the regional electricity supply companies.

Brought to book

Fifteen of the 20 largest companies that list properties in their accounts at 1989 prices make no reference to the possibility that the present value is less than the book value, according to the latest issue of Company Reporting, the monthly review of financial reporting practice. 'More and more are assuming that the current state of the property market is a temporary blip as opposed to a permanent adjustment,' it says.

Leeds expands

Leeds Group, the textiles printer and dyer, has made its first move into Continental Europe with the acquisition of two Dutch companies for an initial consideration of pounds 2.5m. Half the money has been raised in a placing of shares among institutions.

Lloyd's offer

A Lloyd's insurance syndicate, 901, which recorded over pounds 9m of losses for its members has secured an offer from the syndicate manager's insurers of pounds 1.6m to meet their losses. The offer has come from errors and omissions insurers, which protect syndicate managers from the financial consequences of suits for damages.

EC probes

Acros The European Commission has opened an inquiry into the Acros Chemicals joint venture set up by Harrisons & Crosfield and Akzo. Acros Chemicals will produce and distribute additives for polymers and other specialised chemicals. Interested third parties have 10 days in which to file comment on the deal.

World Markets

New York: Stocks ended mixed after sell programs all but erased a 17- point lead in the Dow Jones Average, which closed up 4.33 points at 3,439.44.

Tokyo: Stocks closed sharply higher, led by communications-related issues. The Nikkei average jumped 507.64 points to 19,099.09, its highest level for a year.

Hong Kong: Late profit-taking trimmed early gains. The Hang Seng closed up 20.02 points at 6,408.88.

Sydney: Stocks finished slightly higher after sliding in morning trade. The All Ordinaries closed up 1.4 at 1,668.8.

Milan: Shares closed below highs after an early technical rally petered out. The MIB index finished up 1.05 per cent at 1,060.

Frankfurt: The DAX index closed the official session 12.63 points lower at 1,671.58.

Paris: The lack of moves to cut interest rates sobered up the Paris bourse. The CAC-40 index ended down 25.49 points at 2,005.89.

Zurich: The Swiss Market Index closed 1.9 points lower at 2,188.4.

London: Report, page 24.