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The Independent Online
Fayed brothers 'not denied justice'

The European Commission of Human Rights said the Fayed brothers, owners of Harrods, had not been denied justice in the publication in 1990 of a report by government inspectors, accusing them of making dishonest representations about their background and wealth prior to the takeover of House of Fraser Holdings in 1985.

The brothers have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming they were denied redress against the DTI report. The commission investigates complaints and makes recommendations to the court, which usually accepts its findings.

BET music deal

BET will sell Rediffusion Music and Reditune, its German sister company, to AEI Music Network of Seattle for pounds 18m cash on condition AEI finalises financing arrangements. The two firms made a trading profit of pounds 1.6m in the year to 27 March before exceptional costs of pounds 2.1m.

Society downgraded

IBCA, the credit rating agency, downgraded Bristol & West Building Society's long-term debt from A to A-minus, the lowest of the 11 societies it monitors. It cited B&W's aggressive expansion in the late 1980s, which had left it with mortgage arrears well above average during the housing slump.

Virgin Sunday ban

A French court ordered Virgin Megastore to remain closed on Sundays or face a fine of dollars 43,000 for every day it offended. Virgin, which has one store in Paris and three in the provinces, has been leading the battle to lift a ban on Sunday trading in France.

Milk float turns sour

Sachsenmilch, a dairy company in Dresden and the first eastern German firm to be listed on German exchanges, filed for bankruptcy in what analysts called a serious setback for other eastern German firms planning to go public.

Nestle sales rise

Nestle's consolidated sales in the six months to June rose to Sfr27.5bn ( pounds 12.5bn) from Sfr26.3bn a year earlier. Growth came despite adverse monetary factors.

Fewer Japanese cars

Japanese car makers cut back their domestic production in June to the lowest level for the month in 11 years. Production fell 10.1 per cent from the previous year to 987,997.

Fisons nets pounds 4.8m

Fisons, the pharmaceutical and scientific instruments group, agreed to sell its Australian laboratory supplies business to Phoenix Scientific Industries for pounds 4.8m cash.

DTI clears pub deal

The Department of Trade and Industry cleared the proposed acquisition by Greenalls Group of JA Devenish. Greenalls is offering pounds 206m in an agreed bid.

Bull confirms NEC link

Bull, the French computer manufacturer, confirmed plans for a deal with NEC of Japan on the joint production of mainframes.

News Corp fund-raiser

(First Edition)

News Corp's Newscorp Overseas unit will sell 10 million 8 5/8 per cent guaranteed cumulative preference shares, series 'A', with a par value of dollars 25 a share to raise dollars 250m.

World Markets

New York: Blue chips rose sharply despite a steep decline in the bond market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 21.52 points better at 3,546.74.

Tokyo: Political uncertainty kept trade thin as the Nikkei average tumbled 381.24 points to 19,734.57.

Hong Kong: Late bargain-hunting lifted shares off their lows. The Hang Seng index finished 9.69 points easier at 6,750.33.

Sydney: Most sectors closed higher but gold remained depressed. The All Ordinaries index added 4.2 to 1,806.8 in moderate trade.

Johannesburg: Gold shares held on to the day's highs but industrials fell prey to growing economic pessimism. The overall index gained eight points to 3,999.

Paris: Speculation that the franc will be forced out of the ERM lifted shares almost 1.5 per cent, with the CAC-40 index up 29.32 at 1,995.04.

Frankfurt: Higher bond futures helped the DAX index to close 7.31 points firmer at 1,830.83.

Milan: A partial recovery after heavy earlier losses left the MIB five points easier at 1,213.

London: Report, page 19.