Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
ROTATION REQUIRED FOR AUDITORS

Audit engagement partners for listed companies will have to be changed at least every seven years, according to ethical guidance issued by the Chartered Accountants Joint Ethics Committee.

The body, which represents the three UK and Irish institutes of chartered accountants, also said that firms accused of cutting fees, or lowballing, would have to demonstrate that their work conformed to auditing standards and that the client was not misled about the basis on which costs were calculated.

WINCKLER TO SIB

Andrew Winckler is to become head of the Securities and Investments Board's supervision division on 1 March. He is chairman of the enforcement committee of the Securities and Futures Authority and a member of the Bank of England's City Capital Markets Committee. Mr Winckler will become an executive director of the SIB.

RESERVES RISE

Official UK gold and foreign exchange reserves rose by an underlying dollars 77m to dollars 43.6bn in November, suggesting that the Bank of England may have intervened modestly to boost the total.

DRESDNER AHEAD

Dresdner Bank made a 10-month operating profit of DM1.601bn, an increase of 16.2 per cent. Bad loan provisions rose 23.8 per cent to DM1.25bn.

RECEIVERSHIP DIP

The number of administrative receiverships and administrations fell to 179 in November, the lowest monthly figure since 1989, according to official statistics published by Touche Ross, the accountants. The figure compares with 439 last November and continues the downward trend seen throughout this year.

TI MERGER

TI Group and Snecma yesterday signed an agreement, foreshadowed in June, to merge their Dowty and Messier-Bugatti landing gear businesses.

PROCTER COMES CLEAN

Procter & Gamble is making a push into the European paper tissue market with the acquisition of the German consumer hygiene company VP-Schickedanz from Gustav und Grete Schickedanz.

LOGICA CUTS 100 JOBS

Logica, the software company, is to make 100 staff redundant, mainly in the UK and US operations, at a cost of pounds 2.3m. Last year it made pre-tax profits of pounds 9m.

P&O BOAT TO CHINA

Peninsular and Oriental, the transport-to-housebuilding conglomerate, is to buy a 51 per cent stake in a Chinese container terminal company, Win Hanverky Investments. Last week the group bought a stake in another Chinese port, Shekou, in association with Swire.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Shares rose slightly ahead of unemployment figures. The Dow Jones closed 5.03 points higher at 3,702.11.

TOKYO: Growing expectations that a new economic stimulus package will be announced pushed prices up, leaving the Nikkei 225 index up 333.44 points at 17,458.75.

HONG KONG: Chris Patten's decision to push ahead with reforms drove the Hang Seng index down by 15.83 points to 9,238.20.

SYDNEY: Gains overseas and in gold pushed the All Ordinaries index up 41.9 points in active trading to a close of 2,047.3.

MILAN: Traders were unwilling to take positions ahead of the weekend's elections. The MIB index rose 8 points to 1,200.

FRANKFURT: The lowering of the repo rate and hopes of a leading rate cut on 16 December pushed shares higher, leaving the DAX index 20.66 points up at 2,110.53.

PARIS: The drop in the German repo rate pushed shares slightly higher. The CAC-40 index closed 6.47 points higher at 2,160.45.

LONDON: Report, page 36.

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