Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
RESORT HOTELS CHAIRMAN RESIGNS

Richard Strong has quit as non-executive chairman of Resort Hotels, the hotel chain which suspended trading on 16 July. He will be replaced by David Tonkinson, a non- executive director and a former deputy chairman.

The company had earlier said Mr Strong would resign at the end of the year. Resort has postponed publication of annual results scheduled for this week. A team of accountants is investigating its financial affairs.

PUB VENTURE CLEARED

The European Commission said it planned to grant a venture between Grand Metropolitan and Courage Group clearance until 1998 to continue using standard contracts on the obligations of public house tenants. The brewers, through their Inntrepreneur Estates joint company, use three types of contract to define obligations of tenants who rent their pub properties and those contracts have clauses 'tying' tenants to buy beer from their landlords.

LVMH PURCHASE

LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) said its unit Louis Vuitton had bought 100 per cent of the fashion house Kenzo for a total of Fr482m ( pounds 54.5m). As well as Louis Vuitton luggage, the unit already owns the fashion houses Givenchy and Christian Lacroix.

ENTER THE NEWTON

Apple Computer unveiled the Newton, its long-awaited 'personal communicator', a new generation computer which replaces the usual keyboard and mouse with handwriting recognition and a stylus. It can be easily customised and can serve as a user-friendly 'front end' that can add new capability to cellphones, pagers and electronic pen-pads. Apple, which has signed licensing deals with Sharp, Siemens and Panasonic, said 1,500 companies were already developing independent applications for the Newton, which will be available in Britain from 16 September.

AAF CLOSURE

The industrial group AAF is to close its Blackburn operation as part of its rationalisation programme of its manufacturing facilities, resulting in 200 redundancies. AAF also intends to merge its operations with those at the Brandesburton site near Hull.

VODAFONE IN FIJI

Vodafone Group has set up a joint venture with Fiji Posts and Telecoms, Fiji's state-owned public telephone operator, to build and operate the country's first cellular telephone network.

MIXED INDICATORS

British cyclical indicators based on data available up to 29 July paint a mixed picture of the economy. The shorter leading indicator continued to rise in June, rising 0.2 per cent from the previous month, after rises of 0.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent in the preceding two months, while the longer indicator fell the same amount in the month to July as share prices and business optimism fell.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Climbing steadily for most of the session, the Dow Jones average was 21.52 points up at 3,560.99 by the close.

TOKYO: In thin trade overshadowed by currency worries, index- linked selling lowered the Nikkei average 36.61 points to 20,343.53.

HONG KONG: Continuing last week's strong gains, the Hang Seng index added 40.07 to close at a three-week high of 7,029.03.

SYDNEY: Gold mining shares led the advance as the All Ordinaries index gained 10.8 to 1,854.8.

TEL AVIV: Trading in index options, introduced on Sunday, was thin and cautious. The blue chip index edged up 1.02 points to 190.

JOHANNESBURG: After a firm start gold stocks turned down, and despite strong industrials the overall index shed 14 points to 4,163.

FRANKFURT: Recovering from opening losses, the DAX index finished 11.85 points to the good at 1,815.08.

PARIS: Still posting strong gains, the CAC-40 rose 43.15 to 2,129.03.

ZURICH: After trading in a tight range the Swiss Performance Index ended 1.02 points easier at 1,518.97.

MILAN: Foreign buying and hopes of lower interest rates pushed the MIB up 21 points to 1,263.

LONDON: Report, page 20.

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