Business and City In Brief

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ATTALI TO MEET WAIGEL ON EBRD

Jacques Attali, the president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, is to fly to Germany in the next few days for a meeting with Theo Waigel, Germany's Finance Minister, who chairs the bank's council of governors.

The meeting is to discuss allegations of profligate spending by the bank. Mr Waigel said yesterday there would be 'consequences' if unjustified spending was disclosed.

GPA ADDS CUSTOMERS

GPA, the troubled Irish aircraft leasing group, leased a record 203 aircraft valued at more than dollars 4bn in the financial year just ended - up from 161 the previous year. The group said lease revenue was dollars 2bn and 21 new airline customers were added during the year.

INVESTORS COMPENSATED

Thirty investors who lost money through dealings with independent financial advisers have received pounds 510,611 in compensation in the first three months of the year. The arbitration service operated by Fimbra, the advisers' regulator, considered 56 claims from investors, but turned down 22 of them.

ENGINEERS UPBEAT

UK engineering output reached the bottom of its recession a year ago, according to the Engineering Employers' Federation. All sectors, excluding aerospace and metal goods, are expected to produce real sales levels above those of the second half of 1992 by the first half of 1994.

REDLAND SHARE OFFER

Redland has become the latest company to save advance corporation tax by offering shareholders a 50 per cent dividend increase to take the payment in shares. If all shareholders accept, its capital will be increased by 6 per cent but earnings will increase by 4.6p and net assets per share by 8p.

EMPTY PROPERTIES

Businesses paid pounds 574m rates on empty properties last year, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors said.

GLAXO TO PAY SKB

Glaxo will have to pay its rival SmithKline Beecham royalties on the worldwide sales of Zofran, its treatment for nausea caused by chemotherapy, following the settlement of a patent dispute.

FEWER NEW US JOBLESS

The number of new claims for unemployment benefit in the US fell by 38,000 last week to 335,000, the biggest fall in eight months and larger than Wall Street economists expected. Figures for car sales and consumer confidence were also unexpectedly buoyant.

USAIR SHARE OFFERING

USAir, in which British Airways has invested dollars 300m, plans to offer investors up to 11.5 million new ordinary shares, worth up to dollars 260m.

KIO ISSUES WRITS

Grupo Torras and Torras Hostench London, units of the Kuwait Investment Office, have issued two writs in the London High Court against former executives, firms and advisers, alleging conspiracy to defraud, and seeking recovery of more than dollars 500m.

BANK INQUIRY REJECTED

(First Edition)

The Government has ruled out an inquiry into the recent closure of four UK banks serving the Asian community. Anthony Nelson, economic secretary to the Treasury, turned down the request for an inquiry by Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East, in a meeting yesterday, Mr Vaz said.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Program trading cancelled profit-taking, and by the close the Dow Jones Average was up 0.28 points at 3,455.92.

TOKYO: The Nikkei 225 index edged up by 142.46 points in mixed trading to 20,675.84.

HONG KONG: Profit-taking after the previous day's rise left the Hang Seng index down 57.7 points at 6,732.04.

SINGAPORE: The Straits Times industrial index soared to a record close of 1,733.40, up 22.79 points, as overseas investors bought heavily.

PARIS: Fears that this week's interest rate cut will not be followed by another sent the CAC-40 index down 26.86 points to 1,988.63.

FRANKFURT: Prices rose slightly in directionless trading. The DAX index ended 2.77 points higher at 1,675.21.

MILAN: Position-squaring pushed the MIB index down by 0.71 per cent to 1,124.

AMSTERDAM: Options-related trading pushed shares higher, with the CBS Tendency index closing 0.4 points higher at 109.6.

SYDNEY: Light profit-taking eroded early gains to leave the All Ordinaries index 0.3 points lower at 1,704.1.

LONDON: Market report, page 24.

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