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The Independent Online
RHONE-POULENC OFFER OPENS

The French government will today offer Rhone-Poulenc shares to the public at Fr135 a share. The shares closed yesterday at Fr153.60. The offering will run until 23 November.

DISNEY WATCHED

Standard & Poors has placed Walt Disney's double A minus senior and A-1 plus commercial paper on credit watch with negative implications after the heavy losses suffered at Euro Disney.

JAPAN PRICES FALL

The Bank of Japan said the overall wholesale price index fell 0.2 per cent month-on-month in October, after remaining unchanged in September. Year-on- year, the overall WPI fell 3.2 per cent in October.

LIQUIDATIONS DOWN

The number of companies going into liquidation in the third quarter of 1993 fell by 19 per cent on both the previous quarter and the same period a year ago, according to KPMG, the accountants. Liquidations fell to 4,279 for England and Wales while the number of personal bankruptcies and sole traders going out of business has also stablised at 8,553.

DEMAND GROWING

Domestic demand is growing as a source of profit for UK companies, according to Trade Indemnity's latest quarterly financial trends survey. Bad debt levels fell in both frequency and size over the third quarter, but exporters are suffering a decline in the number of overseas customers who pay on time - from 19 per cent in the first quarter to 4 per cent in the third.

AITKEN CHIEF RESIGNS

Dr Ziah Idilby has resigned as chairman and director of Aitken Hume International, the private banking group. Sir Peter Gadsden has been made chairman and Bill Brown, a director, becomes deputy chairman. David Griffith has been named chief executive.

FIAT SALES

Fiat said it had sold 30,000 Punto cars during the model's first week in the showrooms.

QVC REJECTED

The board of Paramount Communications unanimously recommended that shareholders reject the revised tender offer for the company by QVC.

FRENCH LEAVE

Club Mediterranee is to leave the CAC-40, the French stock exchange's index of top quoted companies. Chargeurs, the transport group, Cap Gemini Sogeti, the technology firm, and Club Med will be replaced by the recently privatised Banque Nationale de Paris, Credit Local de France and Promodes, the consumer products distributor.

WASTE TALKS

(First Edition)

Shanks & McEwan is to negotiate with the five district councils of West Yorkshire to form a joint waste disposal company.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: The Dow Jones Industrial Average arrested an early slide and was 6.99 points down at 3,677.52 at the close.

TOKYO: Shares fell sharply on futures unwinding. The Nikkei average lost 418.94 to 18,074.61.

HONG KONG: The Hang Seng index reached another record high - 9,733.34, up 32.09 points - on foreign fund buying.

SYDNEY: Optimism ahead of the release of key bank earnings later this week helped the All Ordinaries to 2,082.9, a gain of 8.9.

JOHANNESBURG: Gold shares eased on a weak bullion performance but other stocks staged a late comeback. The overall index was six points lighter at 4,103.

PARIS: Continuing its recovery, the CAC-40 index recorded a 21.85-point advance to 2,117.9.

FRANKFURT: Interest in selected blue chips lifted the DAX index 34.1 points to 2,049.11.

ZURICH: Consolidating recent gains, shares closed mixed with the Swiss Performance Index 2.47 points firmer at 1,719.21.

ISTANBUL: Stocks surged 4 per cent on easier money market conditions. The index gained 610.7 points to 15,788.5.

LONDON: Report, page 30.

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