Business and City in Brief

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EXPORT INSURANCE RATES REDUCED

Britain's biggest export credit insurer, NCM Credit Insurance, has cut premium rates for three developing countries and says falling risks should mean more reductions.

NCM Credit, until 1991 the short- term credit arm of the Export Credits Guarantee Department, has cut its premium for Argentina by 42 per cent, Lebanon by 29 per cent, and Saudi Arabia by 20 per cent.

Rothschild goes Dutch

The UK merchant bank NM Rothschild has been appointed to advise the Netherlands on its two-thirds flotation of telecommunications giant Koninklijke PTT Nederland. The bank will advise on all aspects of the sale, including the pricing of the shares and the choice of the underwriting group. PTT, estimated to be worth 16bn-28bn guilders ( pounds 5.5bn- pounds 10bn), will be sold in three or four tranches involving underwriting fees of 100m-180m guilders.

BUSINESS FAILURES EASE

After 30 months of recession, the rate of business failures in England and Wales is levelling off at 1,340 a week, according to Dun & Bradstreet. In Scotland, the rate rose 30 per cent in the latest six months.

dollars 820m BOEING ORDER

Boeing announced an dollars 820m order from Japan Air System for seven 777s - taking orders for the new wide-bodied jet to 130. The aircaft will enter service in 1996.

View from City Road, page 26

SIR JAMES'S BOOTY

Sir James Blyth, chief executive of chemist and retailer Boots, was paid pounds 813,000 in salary, bonuses and pension contribution in the year to March, up from pounds 748,000.

BTR RAISES dollars 34m

BTR has sold its Hawker Fusegear businesses in the UK to Cooper Industries of the US for dollars 34m cash.

90,000 JOB CUTS

Germany's debt-laden national railway plans to cut 90,000 jobs by 1998 in an effort to reduce losses - DM11bn ( pounds 4.38bn) last year.

PHILIPS HEADS EAST

Philips' consumer electronics division will move the headquarters of its Audio group to Singapore from Eindhoven with the loss of 35 jobs.

CAR GIANTS JOIN FORCES

Renault and Volvo will establish a joint strategic and product planning department by September.

INTEL CHIPS IN

Apple Computer may use Intel's 486 chip in a new version of its Macintosh, for the first time making one of its computers compatible with IBM clones.

NATWEST DISPOSAL

National Westminster Bank sold part of NatWest Australia Bank to Challenge Bank for Adollars 300m.

CELSIS PLACING

Shares in Celsis International, the biotechnology company, are to be placed at 100p each and those of Business Post, the parcels firm, at 120p, valuing them at a total of pounds 60m when trading begins next month.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Shares recovered from sharp early losses after poor economic figures to leave the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 11.35 at 3,518.85 by the close.

TOKYO: Reports of bribery allegations involving leading construction companies pulled prices down sharply in the last half-hour. The Nikkei average ended 343.34 points adrift at 19,543.42.

HONG KONG: The Hang Seng index shed 40.63 points to 7,107.47.

SYDNEY: Helped by Wall Street's gains, the All Ordinaries index added 3.4 points to 1,718.5.

BOMBAY: Stocks closed higher across a broad front, with the index 51.02 points ahead at 2,213.

FRANKFURT: In thin trading ahead of tomorrow's Bundesbank council meeting, the DAX index edged up 1.13 points to 1,708.33.

PARIS: Profit-taking sent the CAC- 40 index down 13.45 to 1,977.5.

MILAN: Worries over Ferruzzi continued to weigh on the market. The MIB fell 0.84 per cent to 1,181.

ISTANBUL: Recovering from Monday's heavy falls, the index gained 142.4 points to 11,109.5.

LONDON: Report, page 26.

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