Business and City in Brief

Motorola makes mobile deal

Motorola, the telecoms equipment manufacturer, has agreed to trade the last of its US mobile telephone licences to Nextel, a radio-paging network operator, for dollars 1.8bn worth of shares in the company.

Motorola will invest another dollars 260m in New Jersey-based Nextel, bringing its stake to 20 per cent, while Japan's Nippon Telegraph will pay another dollars 75m to acquire a 1 per cent stake.

Fisons suspension

Fisons has suspended its West Midlands regional sales manager, Rick Tiller, while it investigates allegations that staff gave inducements to GPs to buy the company's asthma treatment, Tilade.

Copier plea

The Office of Fair Trading has called for greater transparency in the supply of photocopiers and for the introduction of standard contracts to eliminate confusion among customers. A report due in about four weeks' time is expected to catalogue a range of malpractices and excesses in photocopier leasing.

Figures delayed

The Central Statistical Office has decided to delay tomorrow's release of August trade figures until Friday to allow time for extra work on seasonal adjustment. The CSO said the delay did not imply that the figures were particularly unusual or that there would be significant revisions to earlier data.

New air links

American Airlines has been cleared to start daily services from Gatwick to Nashville, Tennessee and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, two of its main hubs in the US, from 27 May next year.

QMH questions

Queens Moat Houses' property valuers were facing questions from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors last night about the differences in their valuations of the company's assets. The institution wants an explanation of how property valued at pounds 2bn by Weatherall Green & Smith in 1991 was worth pounds 861m according to Jones Lang Wootton two years later.

Airport venture

The airports operator BAA has formed a joint venture with the US property group McArthur- Glen Realty to set up a chain of American-style 'outlet' shopping malls in Britain and Continental Europe, selling designer label goods direct to the public at low prices.

Ram resignations

Spring Ram, the kitchen and bathroom manufacturer, said it had received resignations from two directors, Ron Farr and David Riley, having requested them at the time of the interim results announcement.

World Markets

New York: Encouraged by the inflation figures, shares made headway but the advance was not sustained. By the close the Dow was down 7.83 at 3,640.07

Tokyo: Negative sentiment on the outlook for the economy sent the Nikkei average plunging 499.45 points to 18,125.71.

Hong Kong: Doubts over the Sino-British talks lowered the Hang Seng 89.48 to 9,088.47.

Sydney: Early buying support evaporated, leaving the All Ordinaries 3.4 points easier at 2,050.8.

Johannesburg: Volatility in the financial rand played havoc with share prices. Industrials were the main losers as the overall index dipped 23 points to 3,997.

Paris: Prices followed Wall Street higher, with the CAC-40 index gaining 28.1 to 2,112.89.

Frankfurt: Short-covering in quiet trade lifted the DAX index 12.02 points to 2,022.83.

Zurich: With investors focusing on blue chips, the SPI added 27.07 points to 1,719.88.

Milan: The market closed sharply lower, led by telecom stocks.

London: Report, page 32.

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