Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
PLAY BY THE RULES, SAUDIS TELL OPEC

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer, put its muscle behind a call for higher prices and urged Opec colleagues meeting in Zurich to abide by the group's output quotas as the best way for them all to earn more money.

Strategy talks got under way to set production levels for July to September. Hisham Nazer, the Saudi Oil Minister, said he was not satisfied with oil prices languishing dollars 3 a barrel below Opec's dollars 21 target.

DOLLARS 4M MICRO FOCUS BUY

Micro Focus Group said it bought the issued share capital of Proximity Software, based in the US, for dollars 4.1m. The acquisition will be funded by the issue of 120,000 new ordinary Micro Focus shares, worth about pounds 2.6m at the current share price.

SHOPPING NETWORK

British Sky Broadcasting and QVC Network said they had agreed to form a television home shopping service to serve the UK, Ireland and Europe. The 24-hour service, to be produced live in London, will begin on 1 October.

EC ACTS OVER INSIDERS

The European Commission is pressing the UK and Germany to implement Community rules prohibiting insider dealing in securities trading. The Commission has sent a letter to both governments reminding them of their commitments and asking for a quick application of the directive.

INJUNCTIONS RENEWED

Injunctions were renewed in the High Court in London preventing Ian Lloyd-Wright, the expatriate investment adviser known as the 'million-dollar man', from selling unauthorised investments in the UK. Up to pounds 4m is thought to have been invested in two bond schemes. The Court gave Mr Lloyd-Wright four days to produce details of the schemes and the underlying assets.

SWAN HUNTER REPRIEVE

The Government gave the go- ahead for Swan Hunter, the threatened shipyard, to continue working on three frigates it is constructing for at least two more weeks. Swan Hunter is in receivership after failing to win a Ministry of Defence helicopter carrier order.

US INVESTMENT PLUNGES

Spending by foreigners to acquire or establish businesses in the US dropped 47 per cent last year from 1991 to a nine-year low of dollars 13.5bn, the Commerce Department said.

ACCOUNTING FOR INFLATION

(First Edition)

Companies operating in hyper-inflationary economies must adjust the accounts where the distortions would affect the true and fair view, according to a document published today by the Accounting Standards Board's Urgent Issues Task Force.

INJUNCTIONS RENEWED

(First Edition)

Injunctions were renewed in the High Court in London preventing Ian Lloyd-Wright, the expatriate investment adviser known as the 'million-dollar man', from selling unauthorised investments in the UK. Up to pounds 4m is thought to have been invested in two bond schemes. The Court gave Mr Lloyd-Wright four days to produce details of the schemes and the underlying assets.

SHOPPING NETWORK

(First Edition)

British Sky Broadcasting and QVC Network said they agreed to form a television home shopping service to serve the UK, Ireland and Europe. The 24-hour service, to be produced live in London, will begin on 1 October.

EASTERN EUROPE OFFER

The European Community is to offer Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania new trade concessions and a firm commitment that they can join the bloc when they meet the conditions for membership.

ECU TENDER POPULAR

The tender of ecu1bn Treasury bills was fully allotted after being oversubscribed in all three maturities, the Bank of England said.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Investors fretting about inflation figures due this week had pushed the Dow Jones Average down 21.59 points to 3,510.54 by the close.

TOKYO: Index-linked selling ahead of a Bank of Japan report on Friday left the Nikkei average down 268.95 at 20,575.24.

HONG KONG: A rise on the futures market linked to hopes of an agreement between the UK and China boosted the Hang Seng index 135.01 to 7,259.74.

SYDNEY: The All Ordinaries index eased 15.4 to 1,723.1 as weakness on Wall Street drove investors to the sidelines.

JOHANNESBURG: A late rally in the bullion price enabled the gold index to recoup some early losses. The index ended 11 lower at 1,682.

MILAN: Light profit-taking left the MIB index unchanged at 1,150.

FRANKFURT: Short-covering nudged the DAX index 6 higher at 1,661, with interest centred on motor shares.

ZURICH: The SMI index gave up 14.4 to 2,294.5 as investors cashed in on Monday's sharp gains.

PARIS: Hopes of lower interest rates lifted the CAC-40 index 5.79 to 1,893.65.

LONDON: Report, page 32.

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