Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
Hanson supports the Cadbury code

Hanson, the industrial conglomerate, has included a statement on corporate governance in its accounts for the first time. Derek Bonham, chief executive, said the group was 'generally supportive' of the Cadbury code despite the fact that some of the proposals 'may lead to some loss in operational flexibility and additional costs'.

The report outlines the procedures for its compensation and audit committees and says it has been complying with them since June. The report also shows that Lord Hanson, chairman, had an increase in salary from pounds 1,350,000 to pounds 1,363,000.

US prices rise

Consumer prices in the US rose 0.2 per cent in November after an increase of 0.4 per cent in October. The core rate, excluding food and energy, was up 0.3 per cent. Year-on-year, the CPI rose 2.7 per cent in November

Resort resignations

Barclays de Zoete Wedd and de Zoete & Bevan resigned as financial adviser and broker respectively to Resort Hotels. Tim Barker resigned as vice-chairman. Resort's shares were suspended in July and this week the company said it would not deliver its accounts for the year to the end of April at the annual meeting on 31 December.

Japan's GDP up

Japan's gross domestic product rose 0.5 per cent between the second and third quarters. Second- quarter GDP was revised to a fall of 0.5 per cent from 0.4 per cent.

Tietmeyer warns

Hans Tietmeyer, president of the Bundesbank, sharply criticised European plans for stimulating economic growth with large spending projects.

OM to Prague

OM, the securities and derivatives exchange with operations in Sweden and the UK, signed an agreement with Czech companies to establish an options and futures market in Prague.

Steel contract

British Steel won a multi-million pound contract to supply 25 thousand tonnes of rails for Norwegian State Railways - the largest single European order placed with British Steel Track Products in Workington.

Attwoods down

Severe recession in Europe led to a sharp fall in first quarter profits at Attwoods, the waste management company where Sir Denis Thatcher is deputy chairman. The taxable surplus fell from pounds 12.3m to pounds 7.1m for the three months to 31 October, on turnover up from pounds 77m to pounds 92m.

Relief at Seton

Seton Healthcare Group spent pounds 1.7m buying five over-the- counter brands including Wasp- eze, an insect bite remedy, and Teejel, an oral pain relief gel.

World Markets

New York: Late buying boosted blue chips and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10.89 points to 3,740.67, its third record high this week.

Hong Kong: Overseas buying drove the Hang Seng index through the 10,000 barrier. The index gained 237.85 at 10,228.11.

Sydney: Profit-taking nudged the All Ordinaries index 10.8 lower at 2,084.9.

Tokyo: Optimism over interest rates lifted the Nikkei-225 195.52 points to 17,237.43.

Johannesburg: The gold index shed 14 at 2,050 after recent heady gains.

Zurich: The strong Swiss franc powered the SMI index 2.7 higher at 2,861.1.

Milan: Investors retreated to the sidelines amid anxiety over world trade talks, depressing the Mibtel index 48 at 10,238.

Frankfurt: Concern about the Russian elections trimmed the DAX index by 14.67 to 2,161.13.

Paris: A sharp decline in Elf shares pushed the CAC-40 index down 13.24 at 2,198.13.

London: Report, page 22.

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