Business and City in Brief

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Euro Disney inquiry launched

The French Bourse commission, COB, is investigating Euro Disney share price movements in connection with the company's announcement of a Fr5.3bn net loss in the year to September.

A COB spokeswoman said the commission was 'studying both the manner in which information concerning Euro Disney was distributed and the movements seen in the stock market in the days prior to the announcement of its results'.

QVC raises bid

QVC Network of the US last night increased its bid for the film studio Paramount Communications to dollars 10.8bn at dollars 90 a share. The rival bid from Viacom is worth about dollars 10.4bn.

Qantas man quits

Graham Jones, chief financial officer of Qantas Airways, resigned after less than a year in the job 'to pursue personal interests'. He joined the Australian airline to be involved in its flotation, which has been delayed until early 1995.

Savings rise

Total gross sales of National Savings products in October were pounds 879m. After repayments of pounds 626m and accrued interest of pounds 182m, the contribution to government funding was pounds 435m. The total invested at the end of October was pounds 45.9bn.

Stagecoach cleared

The acquisition by Stagecoach Holdings of East Kent Travel is not to be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Gartmore subscribed

The offer for sale of the fund management house Gartmore was fully subscribed. Applications were received for 18.1 million shares against 15.8 million on offer. Dealings are expected to start on 19 November.

Agnelli move

Umberto Agnelli will become managing director of IFI, the Agnelli family holding company, and leave the board of the Italian car maker Fiat as part of the announced reorganisation of the group. The changes will be put to Fiat shareholders on Monday.

Bootle closure Acatos & Hutcheson is to close the Peerless factory at Bootle, Liverpool, with the loss of 250 jobs by mid-1995. It will expand its Pura Foods factory in London Docklands, creating 50 new jobs.

TV appointment

Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Television confirmed the appointment of Ward Thomas as chairman.

Oil prices sink

Oil prices sank to their lowest levels since 1988 after trying to rally on hints that Opec may cut output. London physical Brent crude oil dropped at one point to a low of dollars 14.95 a barrel, London Oil Report said. Prices have tumbled 20 per cent this year.

US car sales to rise

(First Edition)

Jack Smith, president of General Motors, predicted total vehicle sales in the US would reach 14 million this year, and 14.8 million in 1994. They were 13 million in 1992.

Demand for trust

(First Edition)

A total 15 million shares in Kleinwort Second Endowment Policy Trust were placed at 100p each. A further 5 million shares will be available to the public through an offer for sale. The minimum subscription is 1,000 shares.

World Markets

New York: Strong retail sales inspired shares. The Dow Jones Average jumped 22.08 points to close at 3,684.51.

Tokyo: Bargain-hunting by institutions helped the Nikkei 225 index to edge up 335.03 points to 18,493.55.

Hong Kong: Foreign institutions showed continued interest, and the Hang Seng index gained 26.42 points to a record 9,701.25.

Sydney: Renewed local buying drove the All Ordinaries index 21.6 points higher to 2,074.

Milan: The Mibtel index rose 46 points to close at 9,650, driven by a strong surge in Fiat shares.

Frankfurt: Weakness in the bond market dampened sentiment, leaving the DAX index 8.32 points lower at 2,015.01 in quiet trading.

Paris: Better-than-expected US retail figures pushed the CAC-40 index 9.52 points higher to 2,096.85.

Amsterdam: The US retail figures helped to push the EOE index 3 points higher to a close of 377.85.

London: Report, page 22.

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