Business and City in Brief

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BA and Virgin talks marathon

Talks between Virgin and British Airways over the dirty tricks campaign seemed likely last night to run well into the weekend.

Virgin is believed to be seeking compensation of up to pounds 15m in addition to an agreement that would stop unfair poaching of airline passengers.

More UK oil

Oil production in the UK rose 3.2 per cent in 1992 to 94.2 million tonnes from the previous year, according to preliminary Department of Trade and Industry figures.

Teledyne payout

Teledyne, the troubled US conglomerate, has been ordered to pay dollars 107m, the largest product liability award in aviation history, for producing an allegedly defective aircraft engine involved in a fatal crash.

GE axes 3,900

General Electric's aircraft engines division will shed 3,900 of its 33,000 employees because of cuts in military spending.

UBS rises

Union Bank of Switzerland, the largest in the country, reported a 10 per cent rise in 1992 group net profit to a record Sfr1.34bn 'largely due to a strong performance on overseas markets'.

Airbus cuts back

Deutsche Aerospace Airbus, part of Daimler-Benz, will introduce short-time working in Nordenham for 21 days from 5 April due to weakness in the civilian plane business. The move will affect 2,500 workers.

Forte go-ahead

The Department of Trade and Industry will not refer the sale by Forte, the hotels and leisure group, of its Gardner Merchant Group to management.

Jobless record

The seasonally adjusted number of jobless in France in January rose 0.1 per cent to 10.5 per cent.

Receiver in

Grant Thornton has been called in as administrative receiver to London and Provincial Factors.

Japanese rescue

Nine large Japanese reditor banks agreed to surrender interest on outstanding loans in a 10-year restructuring plan for Nippon Housing, which has outstanding loans estimated at about Y2,000bn (pounds 12bn).

Hedging bets

The Association of Corporate Treasurers has recommended that companies make appropriate disclosures of treasury policies and procedures on interest rates and currency hedging.

World Markets

New York: The explosion at the World Trade Centre hit trading. The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 5.67 at 3,370.81 in thin volume.

Tokyo: After a day of fluctuating fortunes, the Nikkei average ended 45.96 points on the right side at 16,957.35.

Hong Kong: Optimism over the talks with China sent the Hang Seng soaring 148.11 to 6,351.99.

Sydney: Talk of possible interest rate cuts took the market off its lows. The All Ordinaries index added 2.7 to 1,609.6.

Bombay: Limited trade lifted the index 13.8 to 2,813.15.

Johannesburg: The lower gold price pushed the overall index down seven points to 3,418.

Frankfurt: Hopes of lower interest rates prompted a 25.44-point DAX gain to 1,684.35.

Paris: The CAC-40 index posted a nine-month closing high of 1,983.71 after advancing 39.07 on interest rate speculation.

Milan: A rally in insurance stocks helped the MIB to add 1.25 per cent, closing at 1,133.