Business and City in Brief

MULTIPART SOLD TO BUY-IN TEAM

Multipart, the parts operation of Leyland DAF, has been sold by the administrative receivers for more than pounds 50m to a management buy- in team led by Alan Simpson, former managing director of Land Rover Parts. The team emerged as a surprise suitor for the parts operation, for which Unipart is rumoured to have bid. There are no plans for redundancies among the 300 staff.

Multipart was formed last month to take over the parts business, which had a turnover last year of pounds 140m. The company has long-term supply contracts with Leyland DAF Vans and Leyland Trucks as well as DAF Trucks in the Netherlands. All three are now in new ownership outside receivership.

GOLD SINKS

Gold prices plunged after profit-taking in New York gold futures sparked a sell-off. In London it closed down dollars 14.75 at dollars 387.25, from a peak earlier this week of dollars 409. A report by the World Gold Council saying demand for gold increased by only 1 per cent in the second quarter of 1993 fuelled the selling.

SOFT HOUSE SOLD

Barclays de Zoete Wedd has sold Thamesway Investment Services, its institutional 'soft' commission broker, to Instinet, the electronic brokerage subsidiary of Reuters.

TITANIUM SHUTDOWN

Rolls-Royce is to close Deeside Titanium, Europe's only producer of the metal used in aircraft engines, by the end of the year. The plant has a workforce of 73.

EQUITIES PEAK

Turnover in overseas equities on the London Stock Exchange hit a record pounds 50.7bn in July, pounds 3bn higher than in June. Trading in European securities rose from 65 per cent of the overseas total in June to 71 per cent in July.

CONFIDENCE DENTED

There has been a further slight decline in workload and jobs and a renewed weakening of order books, according to the latest quarterly survey from the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors.

LOWER POWER BILLS

South Western Electricity is giving tariff customers a lump sum reduction of pounds 9 in their winter quarter bills. The reduction will apply to bills received in the period October to December and will amount to about pounds 12m in total.

US ORDERS UP

US factory orders rebounded in June after three consecutive declines. Orders rose 2.6 per cent to a seasonally adjusted dollars 254.8bn, the best showing since December.

POLLY SALE TALK

Administrators of Polly Peck are discussing selling Sunzest, the fruit business in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, to its government, according to the finance minister.

EC JOBLESS RISE

European Community unemployment rose in June to 10.6 per cent from 10.5 per cent in May and 9.4 per cent in June last year.

TOMKINS SLICES BREAD

(First Edition)

Tomkins, the conglomerate that bought RHM last autumn, had shed 25 jobs by closing some bread making capacity in bakeries at Newcastle and Wigan.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Trading was hesitant ahead of votes on the budget bill and economic data due today. Mining issues were hit as gold prices plunged. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3.08 to 3,548.97.

TOKYO: Profit-taking in bank shares pushed the Nikkei average down 71.91 points to 20,425.64.

HONG KONG: Keen chasing of HSBC on the strength of Midland Bank's results helped the Hang Seng index to a two-month high of 7,307.54, a gain of 143.34 points.

SYDNEY: Continued strong demand for industrial issues enabled the All Ordinaries index to post a 4.1-point gain to 1,865.3.

JOHANNESBURG: With gold shares down nearly 7 per cent and industrials also easier, the overall index surrendered 71 points to 4,060.

PARIS: Recovering from two days of losses, the CAC-40 index gained 13.94 points to close at 2,115.3.

FRANKFURT: The DAX index pulled back from early lows to end just 0.14 of a point firmer at 1,860.7.

ZURICH: The SPI rose 1.7 to 1,541.87.

MILAN: A late rebound left the MIB three points easier at 1,279.

LONDON: Report, page 24.

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