Two large US communications companies - one a 'Baby Bell' regional phone firm, the other America's fifth-largest cable TV operator - are to announce plans today to invest dollars 300m in cable-telephone systems in Britain.
Under the agreement, Cox Cable, which owns the UK Gold rerun service, would develop and expand the eight UK cable franchises owned by Southwestern Bell around Liverpool and the Midlands. They serve about 50,000 subscribers.
US DEFICIT SURGES
The US trade deficit surged 31 per cent to dollars 96.3bn last year despite a decline in the fourth quarter.
JAPAN ORDERS UP
Orders received by Japan's 50 largest construction companies rose to Y1,460bn in January, up 7.6 per cent from a year earlier and the first rise in 10 months.
Citibank has bought assets of more than pounds 200m from Randsworth Trust, the insolvent property company, through its receivers, KPMG Peat Marwick.
BCCI ASSET SOLD
First American Bancshares, the principal US subsidiary of Bank of Credit and Commerce International, has sold its Washington-area branch network, the last of its American assets, to First Union, a regional banking group based in North Carolina, for dollars 453m.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development trebled the transactions it was involved in to 1,277 last year. It lost ecu6m compared with a loss of ecu7m in 1991.
The Japanese electronic giant NEC said it expected group net earnings to plunge Y43bn into the red in 1993.
French company failures in December rose to 6,247, up from 4,351 in November and 4,809 in December 1991. Business failures throughout 1992 rose 9.1 per cent to 57,796.
Tarmac, the construction group, has appointed John Lovering, formerly of Sears, as chief operating officer.
ICI POWER PLAY
Imperial Chemical Industries has been granted permission to buy power more cheaply for its giant Wilton petrochemicals plant in north-east England by bypassing the electricity pool.
The Baltic state of Latvia will start introducing its national currency, the lat, on Friday.
NEW YORK: In erratic and uncertain trading the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed early gains to close 15.40 points lower at 3,355.41.
TOKYO: Buying by insurance funds lifted the Nikkei Average off early lows. It ended down 73.5 at 16,789.60.
HONG KONG: The Hang Seng index rose 46.83 to 6,398.82 as investors awaited the resumption of Sino-British talks.
SYDNEY: Better-than-expected trade figures propelled the All Ordinaries index 29.7 higher at 1,639.3.
FRANKFURT: Hopes of lower interest rates helped the DAX index 16.60 ahead at 1,700.95.
MILAN: A strong performance by the insurance sector boosted the MIB index 3.44 per cent to 1,172.
PARIS: The CAC-40 index gained 15.09 to 1,998.80, its best level for nine months, on hopes of lower interest rates.
ZURICH: Profit-taking trimmed gains on the SMI index to 20.5 at 2,119.7.
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