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Lottery bidding goes official

Oflot, the National Lottery regulator, yesterday published the formal offer to tender for the lottery. Companies wishing to bid have until mid-February to apply.

One consortium, the Great British Lottery Company, announced that Lord Kingsdown, the former governor of the Bank of England, and Sir Kenneth Newman, the former Metropolitan Police commissioner, had joined its board as non-executive directors.

Paramount ponders

Directors of Paramount Communications met yesterday to consider a formal response to rival dollars 10bn takeover offers from QVC Network and the Viacom cable television and cinema chain concern. The QVC offer is said to be slightly higher but there are no precise figures and in the past the directors have sided with Viacom.

Canary payout

Ernst & Young, former administrators of the rescued Canary Wharf, say they have started to pay creditors one month early, distributing an initial dividend of 10p in the pound.

Inflation progress

Bundesbank board member Otmar Issing said Germany was making 'good progress' in its attempts to contain inflation, currently around 3.7 per cent, above November's 3.6 per cent.

New audit chief

Ian Plaistowe, last year's president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, is to succeed Bill Morrison as chairman of the Auditing Practices Board from April.

Andersen on top

Arthur Andersen topped the rankings of the world's leading accounting firms compiled by International Accounting Bulletin, with fee income of just over dollars 6bn.

Enterprise issue

Murray Enterprise, the investment trust that plans to concentrate on investing in UK smaller listed companies, is seeking to improve the marketability of its stock through a one-for-one bonus issue of shares. Shareholders will also receive one warrant for every five shares held.

Takeover cleared

The European Commission cleared the acquisition by Pilkington and Techint Finanziaria of Societa Italiana Vetro SpA.

Leisure vote

European Leisure shareholders yesterday approved the financial restructuring proposals announced on 25 November 1993. The company still has to get the approval of holders of the convertible unsecured loan stock.

World Markets

New York: With investors taking profits on some key blue chips, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 10.34 points at 3,744.87 by the close of trading.

Tokyo: Thin trade took the Nikkei average down 88.81 points to 17,315.43.

Hong Kong: Year-end profit-taking sent the Hang Seng index 290.5 points lower to 10,524.28.

Sydney: Gold miners and retailers were among the few gainers as the All Ordinaries index slid nine points to 2,067.

Bombay: The exchange remained closed, with the brokers' dispute still unresolved.

Johannesburg: General lack of demand resulted in a 39-point fall on the overall index to 4,608.

Paris: A mild correction after recent gains saw the CAC-40 index ease 7.61 points to 2,215.86.

Frankfurt: Despite losing some of its momentum the DAX index closed at a record high of 2,282.93 after adding 4.77 points.

Zurich: Continuing its rally in active trade, the SPI gained 9.2 points to 1,839.69.

Milan: Hopes of a discount rate cut helped shares sharply higher after a weak opening.

London: Report, page 26.

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