Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
COMPENSATION FOR BANK VICTIMS

The Isle of Man government yesterday began handing out compensation of up to pounds 5,000 each to victims of the Savings and Investment Bank's pounds 40m crash 11 years ago.

The Manx authorities, which describe the awards as ex-gratia payments, resisted any form of compensation until a report showed the Manx Treasury had failed to monitor the bank properly. The report concluded that the SIB was insolvent 16 months before it crashed.

US HOMES SLOWDOWN

Sales of existing US homes declined for the third month in a row in March, down 2.9 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.36 million units from February's revised 3.46 million. The National Association of Realtors said the March rate was down 4.0 per cent from March 1992.

JAPANESE CAR FIGURES

Japan's domestic car production in March rose 0.8 per cent on the figure a year earlier to 887,235 units. Output in the year to March fell 4.3 per cent to 9.30 million, the second consecutive year of decline.

BA buys USAir shares British Airways is to pay dollars 86.3m for 3.27 million new shares in USAir, in conjunction with the American airline's proposed share issue. The purchase enables BA to maintain its stake in USAir at 24.6 per cent.

BANK CAPITAL CHANGES

The Bank for International Settlements will announce on Friday a three-part modification of the 1988 Basle agreement on bank capital. The changes will cover market risk, netting and the measurement of interest rate risk, Gerald Corrigan, chairman of the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision, said.

UKB PROFITS

United Bank of Kuwait, the London bank, yesterday announced pre-tax profits hardly changed at pounds 10.3m, after property lending problems took its bad debts up from pounds 6m to pounds 11m last year. The bank also launched a new investment management subsidiary, Portman Asset Management.

DAIWA CUTS PAYOUT

Daiwa Securities became the latest Japanese securities house to cut its dividend in the light of poor market conditions. Following the example of Nomura and Yamaichi, Daiwa is cutting its payment for the year ended last month from Y9 to Y8.

MOET SHARE MOVE

Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton said it would propose cutting the nominal value of its shares to Fr10 from Fr50 and multiplying the number of its shares by five to make the shares more liquid .

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Concern over the state of the US recovery sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by 15.40 points to a close of 3,398.37.

TOKYO: With investors awaiting this week's G7 meeting in Washington, the Nikkei average eased 80.52 to 19,623.63 in light trade.

HONG KONG: Encouraged by progress in the Sino-British talks, buyers powered the Hang Seng index to a record close of 6,845.75, a gain of 94.81 points or 1.4 per cent.

SYDNEY: A rebound in the gold price boosted sentiment as the All Ordinaries added 7.5 to 1,710.1.

JOHANNESBURG: The gold index leapt 8.3 per cent in hectic trade on the view that the gold price had started its long-awaited bull run.

PARIS: The CAC-40 index fell 4.96 points to 1,911.62, with investors feeling that no more interest rate cuts are likely in the near future.

FRANKFURT: Recovering from early sharp losses, the DAX index closed 7.29 points down at 1,649.81.

ZURICH: With the weaker dollar undermining export-related blue chips, the Swiss Performance Index dipped 12.05 points to 1,325.81.

MILAN: The MIB advanced 1.53 per cent to 1,193 on optimism about the domestic political situation.

LONDON: Report, page 26.

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