Business and City in Brief

Click to follow
The Independent Online
HERON SEEKS DEBT RESTRUCTURING

Heron International, the troubled property, car and petrol retailing conglomerate, has asked its banks to agree a debt restructuring by 22 February amid fears that parts of the business could run out of cash by the end of the month.

The banks have agreed in principle, subject to documentation. Heron struggled for much of last year to agree a pounds 1.3bn refinancing.

BOOK JOBS GO

HarperCollins, the book publishing arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, yesterday laid off 256 employees at its manufacturing plant near Glasgow in an attempt to stem losses.

WARNING OVER GAS

Oil and gas rig manufacturers warned that the offshore construction industry could face extinction if the Government halted the development of natural gas for power generation.

FEWER US HOMES

New US housing completions fell 4.6 per cent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.184 million units after rising a revised 8.9 per cent to 1.241 million in November.

25m POUNDS BICC BUY

BICC, the cable and construction group, said it had taken over three cable factories in eastern Germany from the Treuhand privatisation agency for DM60m ( pounds 25.4m). It will invest DM150m, guaranteeing 2,200 out of 3,800 jobs.

GERMAN SALES FALL

West German wholesale sales totalled DM80bn in December, up a real 1 per cent but down a nominal 1 per cent on a year earlier. Wholesale sales in 1992 were 2 per cent lower at DM977bn.

SUBSIDY QUERIED

The European Commission launched an inquiry into Italian plans to grant a dollars 123m subsidy to the paper manufacturer Cartiere del Garda.

BfG's DM1bn LOSS

Germany's BfG Bank, majority- owned by Credit Lyonnais, said it made a loss of about DM1.1bn in 1992, mainly from a DM910m rise in bad-debt provisions.

RECORD GM SALES

General Motors sold a record 2.48 million vehicles outside North America in 1992, up 3.3 per cent on 1991. Sales in Europe reached a record 1.78 million vehicles.

USAIR CODE CALL

USAir said it applied to the US Department of Transportation for code-sharing rights with British Airways to allow certain flights to carry both airline codes. The code-sharing is part of the previously announced deal under which BA invested dollars 300m in USAir.

PRINTER BOWS OUT

(First Edition)

Balding & Mansell, the printer based in Cambridgeshire, has gone into receivership with liabilities estimated at 3.5m pounds. Half the 94-strong workforce willbe made redundant.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Growing hopes of economic recovery sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring 45.12 points to close at 3,373.79.

TOKYO: Hopes of a discount rate cut today or tomorrow took the Nikkei average 35.72 points higher to 17,222.03.

HONG KONG: A technical rally after four days of losses saw the Hang Seng index claw back 48.27 points to 5,710.8.

SYDNEY: In nervous trade amid concern over timing of the coming national elections, the All Ordinaries index closed unchanged at 1,530.2.

PARIS: Rumours that the franc may pull out of the ERM helped shares higher. The CAC-40 index added 36.83 points to 1,824.14.

FRANKFURT: Active trade took the DAX up 18.44 to 1,601.53.

ZURICH: Shares recovered from early profit-taking, leaving the index 1.9 better at 2,120.6.

MILAN: Fiat and Generali propped up other stocks as the MIB eased one point to 1,084.

LONDON: Report, page 27.

Comments