Business and City in Brief

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BAe must repay pounds 44.4m, says EC

The European Commission will today order British Aerospace to pay back with interest sweeteners worth pounds 44.4m offered by the Government to encourage the company's takeover of Rover in 1988.

Karel van Miert, the competition Commissioner, and his 16 colleagues agreed that the inducements constituted illegal state aid. BAe was ordered to repay the money in 1990, but appealed to the European Court of Justice on a technicality and won.

Goldman move

Irregularities in trading records at Goldman Sachs' US asset- management subsidiary have resulted in the indefinite suspension of the firm's head bond investment officer, Michael Smirlock, who became a partner only last November.

Archer deal

AJ Archer, the Lloyd's underwriting agency, intends to acquire fellow-agency Castle Underwriting Holdings. Terms have yet to be announced.

Ocean sale

Ocean Group has sold the non- UK activities of Panocean bulk liquid storage to Pakhoed of the Netherlands for pounds 55m.

BA go-ahead

The Government has cleared British Airways' proposed acquisition of 25 per cent of Qantas Airways.

MMI transfer

Municipal Mutual Insurance, the council insurer forced to suspend new business last autumn, has concluded the transfer of its business, along with more than 1,500 staff, to Zurich Insurance.

Claim struck out

Henry Ansbacher, the merchant bank, succeeded in striking out a pounds 25m damages claim from Mohammed Ashraf Marwan. The claim was over a share deal in the Guinness affair.

Dell doubles

Dell Computer, the world's largest direct marketer of personal computers, more than doubled profits to dollars 31m in the final quarter of 1992.

World Markets

New York: The Dow Jones Industrial Average attempted to consolidate Monday's strong gains, and by the close was up 2.70 points at 3,472.12.

Tokyo: Hopes of an economic stimulus from the government pushed the Nikkei average up 161.83 points to 17,848.3.

Hong Kong: Growing hope of a settlement over the colony's future powered the Hang Seng index to a record close of 6,508, a gain of 25.84 points.

Sydney: Strong gains overseas boosted the All Ordinaries index 16.6 points to 1,633.7.

Johannesburg: Shares ended higher after better-than-expected results from De Beers.

Frankfurt: Reaction to the surge in New York and a higher-than-expected dividend from BASF took the DAX index up 18.31 points to 1,713.13.

Paris: Euro Disney was a leading gainer as the CAC-40 index firmed 5.43 points to 2,009.69.

Milan: Fears of an Italian government collapse sent the MIB plunging 3.18 per cent to 1,128.