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The Independent Online
Swiss court freezes KIO assets

A Swiss court has frozen Kuwait Investment Office assets of Sfr157.3m ( pounds 72.1m) held by Credit Suisse in Zurich, the second action in a month in a claim by Sarrio, the Spanish-Italian packaging group. A spokesman for KIO in London said an appeal would be lodged.

The order forms part of a dollars 75m claim by Sarrio against the KIO and the Kuwait Investment Authority over debts of Grupo Torras, the KIO's collapsed Spanish investment arm. Less than a month ago two bank accounts thought to contain Sfr3.28bn were frozen by a court in Geneva.

Tesco raises pounds 200m

Tesco announced a pounds 200m fixed-rate bond issue, earmarked for new stores. The group opened 25 stores in the year to February and lifted profits 6.5 per cent to pounds 581m.

Japanese tax evaders

Government auditors investigating large-scale tax evasion cases in Japan said they found a record Y100.72bn (pounds 619m) in hidden income in 1992. Court action is pending against 157 companies and individuals.

Crucial steel ruling

The US Commerce Department will make a final ruling today in a dumping case that could result in big duties on steel from 19 countries, including the UK.

BP offer approved

The French Bourse has approved British Petroleum's offer for the rest of its BP France unit.

BA chases customers

British Airways is teaming up with Chase Manhattan Bank to offer an 'affinity' credit card in the US in an attempt to boost its frequent flyer programme.

News Corp TV deal

News Corporation is expected to acquire a 15 per cent stake in Seven Network, soon to be floated in a Adollars 600m share issue, the Australian reported.

World Markets

New York: A firm bond market underpinned shares although trading was moderate. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 16.05 points higher at 3,510.82.

Tokyo: Japan's political crisis induced index-linked selling, driving the Nikkei average down 592.11 - almost 3 per cent - to 19,212.43.

Hong Kong: Taking its tune from Tokyo, the Hang Seng index plunged 197.17 points to 7,003.58.

Sydney: Light selling marking the end of the fiscal year took the All Ordinaries down 3.8 to 1,726.6.

Johannesburg: The decline in the rand against the dollar lifted gold shares as the overall index advanced 28 points to 4,010.

Paris: The CAC-40 index put on 18.88 points to 1,929.17 after the Bank of France cut interest rates.

Frankfurt: Helped by the strength of the dollar, the DAX index firmed 2.92 points to 1,689.82.

Milan: Losing early gains on concern over the municipal elections, the MIB eased 0.43 per cent to 1,161.

Istanbul: Political and economic optimism powered the index ahead 679.6 (6.5 per cent) to 11,140.4.

London: Report, page 24.