Business and City in Brief

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Plug pulled on power appliances

London Electricity has pulled out of appliance retailing. It is selling 15 Powerstore shops to a management team for pounds 6m and closing 30 shops at a cost of pounds 20m.

There would be 'modest redundancies', it said, but declined to say how many. Earnings growth in 1992/3 would be lower, but there will be no impact on dividend policy.

Jet deal signed

BMW Rolls-Royce, the Anglo- German joint venture making aircraft engines, has signed an agreement with Bombardier Aerospace Group North America to power the Canadair Global Express twinjet business jet. A spokesman said there were 37 firm orders.

Costain post

Costain has promoted Alan Lovell, chief financial officer, to finance director. He replaces Tom Slee, who resigned in December.

Bowater take-up

Bowater said it received 92.76 per cent acceptances for its one-for-six pounds 295m rights issue, launched last month to finance the acquisition of Specialty Coatings of the US for dollars 434m.

Savings down

National Savings made a net addition of pounds 162m to government funding in February - down pounds 57m on the previous month, and pounds 231m less than February last year. The biggest turnaround was on the investment account, paying 6.25 per cent, which went from a net inflow in January of pounds 38m to an outflow of pounds 46m.

Fimbra acts

Fimbra, the regulator for independent financial advisers, has suspended Breaks Hughes (Life and Pensions) of Keighley Road, Bradford, following allegations that insurance premiums have been mishandled. The firm was authorised to handle clients' money. Philip Sprake Financial Services, of Epsom, Surrey, was also suspended.

Wheway cleared

The Department of Trade and Industry has decided not to refer the proposed acquisition by McLeod Russell Holdings of Wheway to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

World Markets

New York: The worsening Russian situation and weak bonds had pushed the Dow Jones average down 29.18 points to 3,427.82 by the close.

Tokyo: Last-minute buying took the Nikkei average to 18,037.52, a gain of 132.73.

Hong Kong: Prices tumbled again after Chris Patten announced he was publishing his reform proposals. The Hang Seng fell 201.97 to 6,170.4.

Sydney: Profit-taking erased early gains to leave the All Ordinaries just 0.4 up at 1,661.5.

Johannesburg: With gold shares still in the ascendant, the index added 12 points to 3,451.

Frankfurt: After sliding for most of the session the DAX index recovered some ground to end 10.26 lower at 1,707.14.

Paris: Pre-weekend profit-taking lowered the CAC-40 index 23.76 points to 1,965.18.

Zurich: The all-share index fell 18.3 points to 1,305.9.

Milan: Blue chips weakened on political worries ahead of Monday's trading account end.

London: Report, page 19.