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The Independent Online
EC REAPPRAISES FARM DEAL

The European Community decided yesterday to reappraise a transatlantic farm deal in a move that could delay a world trade agreement by several months. Despite British calls not to tamper with the EC-US deal, the EC referred it to an investigating committee, which will check if it is compatible with EC rules. The deal had been hailed as a breakthrough in the Uruguay round of talks on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

XEROX PULLS OUT

Xerox Corporation said it planned to pull out of its insurance and other financial services businesses - including Crum and Forster, a property and casualty insurance firm, and Xerox Life - to focus on document processing.

FRENCH SELL-OFF

The French government is to sell 6 million shares in Rhone- Poulenc, the chemicals group, at Fr500 a share, reducing its stake from 98 to 87.8 per cent.

BANK PROFIT SOARS

NationsBank, one of the US 'super regional' banks catching up on the giants of New York and California, announced net profits for 1992 five times higher than 1991's at dollars 1.15bn.

BREWERS AXE 100

Allied-Lyons has consummated its Carlsberg brewing venture. Cuts are being made in distribution operations, with seven depots closing and 100 jobs going.

GLAXO LIFTS STAKE

Glaxo Canada will spend Cdollars 30m ( pounds 15m) exercising its option to buy 3.9 million shares in Biochem Pharma, lifting its stake to 17 per cent.

GM LAYS OFF 1,450

General Motors of Canada is to lay off 1,450 workers in March. In Sweden, Volvo said it would put 1,000 on short time.

ICE-CREAM GIANT

Unilever has formed a 50-50 joint venture with BSN Group of France to develop and market worldwide new yoghurt and ice-cream combinations.

BOOST FOR PEARL

Pearl, the life insurance group owned by Australian Mutual Provident, reported a 51 per cent rise in new business to pounds 737.5m in 1992, much of it from pension single premiums.

NPI IMPROVES

NPI, the mutual pensions office, last year increased total new premiums by 60 per cent to pounds 785m, taking pounds 223.3m in its with-profits investment bond.

Rolls' Rose

(First Edition)

John Rolls is to become president and chief executive officer on Rolls-Royce in the US from 1 February.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: In slow, uneventful trading shares moved narrowly and by the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 3.79 points at 3,274.91.

TOKYO: Futures-linked buying carried the Nikkei average 101.64 higher to 16,617.24.

HONG KONG: The Hang Seng index rose 10.22 to 5,882.02.

SYDNEY: 'Dull and boring' was one broker's description of a session that saw the All Ordinaries index add 4.4 to 1,528.8.

BOMBAY: Sustained buying on bullish hopes about the government's reform programme lifted the index 60.51 to 2,586.05.

JOHANNESBURG: In lacklustre trade the overall index edged up three points to 3,418.

FRANKFURT: The DAX index closed at a three-month high of 1,573.13, up 28.58 points.

PARIS: Hopes of lower interest rates cancelled out other concerns. The CAC-40 index gained 10.46 points to 1,837.54.

ZURICH: Blue chips eased but second-tier stocks were strong. The index fell 15.8 to 2,085.2.

LONDON: Report, page 23.

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