Business and City in Brief

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800,000 REGISTER FOR SHARE SALE

About 800,000 investors registered for the sale of shares in Northern Ireland Electricity by the deadline on 1 June.

The Government has set the share price at 220p, payable in two instalments. The minimum investment is pounds 220 with the first instalment of pounds 100 payable with the application. The offer closes on 16 June.

LSE TRADING DECISION

The Stock Exchange Board will continue developing its own new share trading system and rejected a proposal put forward by the National Association of Securities Dealers, based on the New York system.

PRINCEDALE IN RED

Princedale, the marketing consultants, made a pre-tax loss of pounds 71,000 for the six months to 31 March compared to a profit of pounds 326,000 last time. Bottom Line page 31.

SCOTLAND RECOVERING

Construction ouput in Scotland is recovering fastest, and should grow 8 per cent this year according to Foresight, an economic forecast produced for Construction News. But East Anglia is likely to suffer a 21 per cent fall, while London will grow only 10 per cent next year if the Jubilee Line is approved.

BARCLAYS STRIKE FEARS

Barclays faces possible strike action by computer staff over a pay offer and plans to cut paid sick leave for new employees, the Banking, Insurance and Finance Union said. More than 1,000 computer staff are voting in an industrial action ballot ending on 11 June.

SHELL AXES 100

Shell UK is axing 100 jobs at its Shellhaven refinery near Stanford Le Hope in Essex.

TRADE WAR HURTS KLM

An intercontinental price war dragged KLM Royal Dutch Airlines into a net loss of 562m guilders ( pounds 203.6m) in the year to 31 March after a profit of 125m guilders previously. The dividend was passed.

7% MORE US HOMES

Housing completions in the US rose 7 per cent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.191 million units after falling a revised 10.3 per cent to 1.113 million units in March.

BANKNOTES INCREASE

British banknotes in circulation rose 6.8 per cent in the week to 2 June over the equivalent week a year ago, figures released by the Bank of England showed.

JAPAN'S SURPLUS GROWS

Japan's current account surplus rose 14.6 per cent in April to dollars 11.27bn - the 24th consecutive month of increase from year-earlier levels.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Nervousness ahead of today's employment figures encouraged some profit-taking, pushing the Dow Jones Average down 8.58 points to 3,544.87 by the close in thin volume.

TOKYO: Index-linked buying by institutions boosted the Nikkei average 384.30 to 21,076.

HONG KONG: China's decision to float the yuan hammered the Hang Seng index 166.94 lower at 7,155.29 - its biggest daily loss since 15 March.

SYDNEY: The All Ordinaries index edged 0.9 higher to 1,741 in lacklustre trading.

JOHANNESBURG: The recovery in the bullion price prompted selective buying, lifting the gold index 52 to 1,751.

MILAN: A 4 per cent fall in Fiat shares helped to nudge the MIB index 0.67 per cent lower at 1,189.

FRANKFURT: The DAX index added 4.41 to 1,629.62 as investors shrugged off the Bundesbank's decision to leave interest rates unchanged.

PARIS: Light selling of blue chips contributed to a 7.92-point fall on the CAC-40 index to 1,867.92 in a shortened trading session disrupted by technical problems.

LONDON: Report, page 30.

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