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The Independent Online
SIR HAL MILLER TO QUIT AS CAR CHIEF

The surprise retirement was announced yesterday of Sir Hal Miller, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Sir Hal, 64, who took over the post in November 1991, is leaving when his contract expires at the end of March to take up a senior position in the international textile industry.

The former Conserative MP was credited with leading the successful campaign for the abolition of special car tax.

STOREHOUSE HIT

Storehouse, the BhS and Mothercare stores group, confirmed it was losing David Dworkin, chief executive, wiping 10p from its shares to 184p. Mr Dworkin will leave at the end of March to join Carter Hawley Hale, the US department store chain.

GERMAN BUY

BFG Bank of Germany has paid about pounds 70m for the head lease of 171 Victoria Street, London, its second acquisition in the City. The lease on the building, let to John Lewis, has 77 years to run with the option of a break in 2031.

MICHELIN FLAT

Michelin, the French tyre maker, said a 1.2 per cent fall in sales to Fr66.8bn in 1992 was due to a slowdown in its markets and the impact of exchange rate variations in the second half when sterling, the peseta, the lira and the dollar fell 10-12 per cent against the franc.

PORTER FOR LBC

Dame Shirley Porter will succeed Christopher Chataway as chairman of LBC following his decision to step down. Mr Chataway will remain a non-executive director.

SHAW COURT BATTLE

Gordon Pearson, chairman of Arthur Shaw, lost a High Court battle in Birmingham to have two dissident shareholders barred from election to the board. He faces a motion to unseat him at an extraordinary meeting on Monday. The dissidents seeking election are Ian Tickler, former chairman, and Donald Crammond, former deputy chairman.

FRANCE SAGS

Demand for French goods continued to fall in the fourth quarter of 1992. The capacity utilisation rate of industry fell for the fifth successive quarter.

BCCI REFUSAL

Pakistan refused a US request to extradite Agha Hassan Abedi, the ailing founder of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, for trial.

WELSH RECORD

Inward investment in Wales reached record levels last year with nearly pounds 1bn invested in 206 projects, safeguarding or creating more than 14,000 jobs.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: In featureless trading shares drifted, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 2.16 at 3,412.42 in thin volume by the close.

TOKYO: Last-minute technical support left the Nikkei average 67.63 points ahead at 17,089.9.

HONG KONG: The Hang Seng index rose 46.03 points to 5,835.55 on selective buying.

SYDNEY: A surge of buying after early losses lifted the All Ordinaries index 6.9 to 1,590.6.

JOHANNESBURG: Gold shares soared, with the index gaining 11 per cent. The overall index climbed 68 points to 3,542.

FRANKFURT: As domestic and foreign investors bought blue chips in expectation of further interest rate cuts, the DAX index added 8.23 to 1,649.81.

PARIS: Prices closed virtually unchanged as the market anticipated lower interest rates. The CAC-40 eased 0.73 to 1,893.32.

MILAN: Despite some losses towards the close, underlying sentiment was good. The MIB gave up 0.36 per cent to 1,100.

LONDON: Report, page 29.

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