Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
National Savings 103m pounds in January

Net receipts from National Savings in January were pounds 103m. Gross sales were pounds 522m and repayments pounds 419m. The largest contribution came from index- linked savings certificates ( pounds 74m), followed by fixed-interest savings certificates ( pounds 61m), and the investment account ( pounds 38m).

National Savings has contributed almost pounds 4bn, including pounds 1.5bn of accrued interest, to government funding so far this financial year.

Fokker dead end

The Dutch government said it had reached an impasse in negotiations with Deutsche Aerospace over its proposed takeover of Fokker. Dasa had demanded continuing state support for the cutting of capacity at Fokker to suit market conditions - 'and we cannot offer a blank cheque', a spokesman said, though agreement had been reached on many other points.

Investors warned

The Securities and Investments Board warned investors not to deal with First European Futures International, a futures dealer apparently operating from Brussels and Copenhagen. FEFI is believed to have attempted to solicit business from UK investors using an untruthful brochure. The SIB took legal action against FEFI's managing director, EK Deen, nearly three years ago when he was running another Belgian futures business called Vandersteen.

US prices rise

Producer prices in the US were up 0.2 per cent in January after a revised 0.1 per cent rise in December - the largest monthly increase in four months. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the core rate was up 0.4 per cent, giving a year- on-year rise of 1.8 per cent.

Axe at Peugeot Peugeot Citroen confirmed plans to scrap 1,629 jobs, about 5 per cent of its French workforce of 31,055, this year and said more cuts would follow. It blamed continuing poor sales and increasing competition.

Airline hits out

American Airlines has filed unfair competition complaints against Air France and Sabena for allegedly denying it the opportunity to sell computer reservations in France and Spain.

Rentokil killing

Rentokil, the environmental services group, has acquired businesses in the US, Portugal and Belgium for pounds 2.1m.

In the soup

Campbell Soup plans to shut two frozen food plants and sell less lucrative businesses in the US in a restructuring plan expected to lead to a dollars 300m after- tax charge and the loss of more than 1,000 jobs.

World Markets

New York: Worries that inflation might be resurfacing knocked the Dow Jones average 30.26 points lower to 3,392.43 by the close.

Tokyo: Continuing worries about the yen's strength helped to drive the Nikkei average down 238.39 points to 16,851.51.

Hong Kong: Reversing early losses, the Hang Seng index ended 1.15 firmer at 5,858.15.

Sydney: Ahead for the seventh consecutive day, the All Ordinaries index finished with a 4.4- point advance at 1,603.5.

Johannesburg: Gold shares lost some of the week's gains to profit-taking. The overall index fell 54 points to 3,491.

Paris: An up-and-down session ended with the CAC-40 index 6.4 points to the good at 1,911.97, leaving it marginally ahead over the past week.

Frankfurt: Moderate trade took the DAX index up 10.38 points to 1,661.43.

Milan: Subsiding political worries boosted the MIB 1.02 per cent to close at 1,087.

London: Report, page 19.

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