Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
ABBEY MORTGAGES DOWN QUARTER-POINT

Abbey National said it had cut its home lending rate by 0.25 percentage points to 7.74 per cent for mortgages up to pounds 59,999.

Abbey, the UK's second-largest mortgage provider, said the rate on home loans of between pounds 60,000 and pounds 99,999 would fall to 7.64 per cent. The new rates take effect from 8 December for new borrowers.

BELGIUM TRIMS RATE

Belgium has cut its key interest rates by half a percentage point, taking the central rate down to 7.5 per cent. The Danish central bank has reduced its leading 14- day certificate of deposit rate by a quarter-point to 7 per cent.

AIRBUS WINS ORDER

Airbus Industrie has won an dollars 800m order for six A340-300 aircraft from Cathay Pacific Airways. The airline is to lease a further four A340-200s.

JOBLESS TOTAL RISES

Seasonally adjusted unemployment in the European Union reached 10.7 per cent in October, compared with 10.6 per cent in September and 9.6 per cent in October last year, the EU statistical office said.

BRAZIL PRICE INDEX PLAN

Brazil's Economy Minister announced plans to stabilise the economy through a balanced 1994 budget, use of an anti-inflation price index pegging the currency to the US dollar and possible creation of a new currency.

PROPERTY SUBDUED

Legal and General predicted UK residential property prices would remain subdued until the end of the century and that over the rest of the decade house prices would on average increase no more than 1 per cent ahead of inflation.

NABISCO TO SHED 6,000

RJR Nabisco, the foods and tobacco group hit by price wars in the US cigarette market, will lay off 6,000 employees, resulting in a charge of dollars 445m for the current quarter.

COAL STRIKE ACCORD

US coal producers, led by Hanson's Peabody Coal, have reached a tentative contract agreement with the United Mine Workers union, whose members have been on strike since 10 May.

OIL RECOVERS

Crude oil prices recovered strongly after hitting new lows of around dollars 13.45 yesterday amid reports that Arab ministers of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries plan to unveil a new initiative.

TREUHAND COUNTS UP

Germany's Treuhandanstalt said it had privatised 11,000 former East German state-owned firms by the end of 1992 and returned 4,000 firms to their original owners.

ELDERS OVERSUBSCRIBED

(First Edition)

The Elders Australia float closed heavily oversubscribed, Barclays de Zoete Wedd Australia said. The floatation raised Adollars 98.2m with a listing which is planned for 20 December.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Gains in Sears Roebuck and Boeing helped the Dow rise 8.67 points to a record closing high of 3,718.88.

BRUSSELS: Despite a cut in the central market rate, the BEL 20 index fell 7.97 points to 1,430.45.

MILAN: Trade was light on a local holiday. The Mibtel index gained 65 to close at 10,078.

FRANKFURT: Profit-taking and dwindling buying interest saw the DAX fall 3.34 to 2,115.46.

PARIS: Trade was dominated by news about the course of the Gatt talks. The CAC-40 index lost 10.62 points to 2,176.12.

BANGKOK: Stocks surged to a new high, with the SET index closing up 65.15 points at 1,442.56.

HONG KONG: Prices set a record despite profit-taking in the afternoon. The Hang Seng index rose 126.88 points to close at 9,736.57.

SINGAPORE: The Straits Times Industrials index gained 16 points to 2163.54, off its high but still a record.

TOKYO: Prices closed higher, but well off highs. The Nikkei 225 index rose 63.11 to 16,903.49.

SYDNEY: Gains in futures prices saw the All Ordinaries index rise 20.2 points to 2073.9.

LONDON: Report, page 28.

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