Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
BRUSSELS MERGER WORK THREATENED

The European Commission may be forced to cede some responsibility for takeovers to national competition authorities, Sir Sydney Lipworth, outgoing chairman of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, said yesterday.

Presenting the MMC's annual review for 1992, Sir Sydney said one of the constraints on Brussels could be a lack of resources. He said one solution might be for the EC's competition directorate, DGIV, to subcontract some of its merger work to national authorities.

OUTPUT PRICES OFF

Producer prices in western Germany fell 0.2 per cent in December to stand 0.5 per cent above the level a year earlier.

DUMBO JETS

Euro Disney and Air France have signed a co-operation agreement that includes joint promotional operations in Europe. Under the deal, Air France will become Euro Disney's 'preferred air carrier'.

CITY JOBS BLOW

Hill Samuel will cut 30 jobs after it separates its funding and liquidity operations from its main treasury business to focus on merchant banking.

VENTURE SPLIT

Guinness Peat Group said its joint venture with Brierley Investments concerning Australian Consolidated Investments had been unwound.

CAR DRIFT

The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association expects EC sales of cars and small commercial vehicles to decline by 7.5 per cent to 12.84 million vehicles in 1993.

WANG LOSS

Wang Laboratories' chairman and chief executive, Richard Miller, said he was resigning in order to ease the company's emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

VODKA WAR

Pierre Smirnoff, the vodka subsidiary of international food and hotels giant Grand Metropolitan's IDV drinks arm, said it was suing Russia's Smirnov to protect its trademark.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: News of growth in most states and firm bond prices pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 11.07 points to 3,253.02 by the close.

TOKYO: In thin, choppy trade the Nikkei average added 28.5 points, closing at 16,538.68.

HONG KONG: The Hang Seng index entered the lunar new year holiday at 5,914.39 after gaining 37.37 on bargain-hunting.

SYDNEY: A weaker Australian dollar kept overseas investors away. The All Ordinaries index lost 2.7 points to 1,519.1.

JOHANNESBURG: Gold bulls helped to send the overall index 20 points higher to 3,380.

PARIS: Concern about the property sector depressed the market. The CAC-40 index fell 6.64 points to 1,812.18, but Eurotunnel added 95 centimes to Fr34.

FRANKFURT: The Bundesbank's failure to cut interest rates produced little reaction. The DAX index eased 1.21 to 1,573.67.

MILAN: The construction sector was strong as the MIB gained five points to 1,077.

LONDON: Report, page 25.

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