Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
COURT BID DELAYS DOCKLANDS MOVE

A Canary Wharf tenant, Ogilvy & Mather, yesterday lodged a court objection to the administrators' plan to bring the Docklands development out of administration. As a result a High Court judge delayed his decision on approving the plan, setting 18 October as the date for hearing the objection.

Ogilvy, part of WPP, is already being sued for unpaid rent by the administrators, but claims it is being unfairly treated. It is objecting to the emergence from administration - which will trigger the building of the Jubilee Line to Docklands - as an interested party, not as a creditor.

FEARS FOR RECOVERY

Economic recovery is poised to stall in the middle of next year, according to the Central Statistical Office's longer leading indicator of economic activity, which predicts the strength of the economy 12 months ahead. The fears are based on the flattening of the yield curve and falling business optimism.

PEUGEOT LOSES POUNDS 131m

Peugeot-Citroen reported a first- half net loss of Fr1.12bn ( pounds 131m) compared with a net profit of Fr2.319bn a year earlier. The car giant blamed the downturn in world markets and the impact of devaluations of important currencies against the franc for the loss, its first since 1985. Sales were Fr73.05bn against Fr82.6bn previously. It will slash production and temporarily lay off staff.

dollars 50m BLOCKBUSTER

Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation will pay dollars 50m for Super Club Retail Entertainment, a subsidiary of Philips Electronics and the largest music retailer in the south-eastern US, operating 270 stores. Super Club also has 160 video retail superstores in 13 states.

LLOYD'S PLAN BACKED

Lloyd's of London gained powerful support for the admission of companies as investors into its insurance market, which it plans to introduce next year. The Association of Lloyd's Members and the Lloyd's Names Action Group Working Party pledged support for the reform, to be voted on soon.

PAY CHALLENGE

The Equal Opportunities Commission will ask the European Commission to take legal action against Britain for its failure to implement equal pay.

LADBROKE COURT TRUCE

The Mail on Sunday agreed at a High Court hearing to give an undertaking not to publish allegations that were the subject of an injunction granted to Ladbroke Group on 25 September, save on adequate written notice to the company.

BANK STRIKE LOOMS

The first nationwide strike ballot at Royal Bank of Scotland is being organised over the sacking or downgrading of computer staff. The Banking Insurance and Finance Union expects a vote on 14 October in favour of a series of one-day strikes by 700 computer workers.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Quarterly trading warnings doused enthusiasm, and by the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 15.36 points at 3,583.63.

TOKYO: Index-linked selling and profit-taking after two days of gains sliced 234.62 points off the Nikkei average to 20,265.63.

HONG KONG: Making good early losses, the Hang Seng index closed 25.22 higher at 8,066.79, its fifth record in a row.

SYDNEY: Despite a decline in futures prices the All Ordinaries added 3.7 points to 2,022.5.

JOHANNESBURG: The overall index forged ahead 64 points to 3,819 as gold shares leapt 5 per cent and industrials also rose.

PARIS: The no-change decision on French and German interest rates accelerated a decline. The CAC-40 lost 17.05 to 2,147.41.

FRANKFURT: The market ran out of steam as the DAX index approached 2,000. It ended 9.99 points better at 1,997.04.

MILAN: Shares eased in listless trade, depressed by a weakening lira against the Deutschmark.

LONDON: Report, page 35.

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