Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
SPANISH FIRM

near collapse Spain was on the brink of its biggest corporate collapse last night after Fesa-Enfersa, the troubled fertiliser subsidiary of Ercros, the country's largest chemical company, filed for protection against its creditors. Ercros, in which the Kuwait Investment Office has a 40 per cent stake, owes more than pounds 1bn to banks and suppliers, and is expected to follow suit today.

BT CONNECTION

BT is collaborate with four other European telephone operators to offer telecommunication services for businesses. The partners include France Telecom, Telefonica of Spain, Deutsche Telekom and Italy's Asst/Stet.

SHARES INQUIRY

India's central bank has called for 'further investigation' into securities dealings of branches of four foreign banks - Citibank, Bank of America, ANZ, and Standard Chartered - in connection with a billion-dollar market scandal.

GREEN LIGHT

The Department of Trade and Industry has cleared the proposed acquisition by Greene King of its fellow regional brewer Morland.

GERMAN JOBS

Gruding, the German electronics group, said it would cut about 3,000 jobs by the end of the next business year.

ORDERS STEADY

West German industrial orders in May were unchanged from April on a seasonally adjusted basis, with domestic orders slipping 0.5 per cent and foreign orders rising 0.5 per cent.

BARING APPOINTED

The Treasury has appointed Baring Brothers to act as adviser on the sale or redemption of part of its holdings of privatised companies' debt and loan stock.

INVESTMENT TAX

An all-party parliamentary panel in Germany has agreed to impose a 30 per cent tax on interest income and one of 35 per cent on interest earned in over-the-counter bond deals.

SIEMENS SALES

Siemens, the electronics group, said sales in the first eight months of 1991/92 rose 7 per cent.

HANSON BOND

Hanson has increased its issue of 10 per cent eurobonds from pounds 100m to pounds 500m.

Beazer sale, page 25.

COOKSON BUY

The Cookson Group joint venture company Alpha-Grillo has bought the solder products division of Rheinische Zinkgesellschaft in Germany.

ALGERIAN OIL

(First Edition)

Sonatrach of Algeria has signed an agreement with BP Exploration to investigate ways of co-operating in oil and gas exploration and production.

ACCIDENT-PRONE

(First Edition)

A third of British companies are unprepared for new health and safety legislation taking effect at the beginning of next year, according to a survey by the insurer Eagle Star.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Shares made small gains in moderate trade, with the Dow Jones average closing 8.92 points higher at 3,339.21.

TOKYO: Stocks gave up early gains for the Nikkei average to finish 60.71 points lower at 16,657.07.

HONG KONG: Late selling by funds and retail investors pulled the Hang Seng index down 37.08 points to 6,024.77.

SYDNEY: The slowest trading day for nearly three months saw the All Ordinaries index edge up 0.4 to 1,663.6.

PARIS: The strike situation drove the bourse near a five- month low, with leisure stocks badly hit and the CAC-40 index down 15.12 points at 1,868.52.

FRANKFURT: With hopes of lower interest rates fading, the DAX index lost 4.62 to 1,772.36.

ZURICH: Insurance stocks suffered profit-taking as the index dipped 6.5 points to 1,175.1.

MILAN: A rise in the discount rate dampened sentiment and sent the MIB to a year's low of 869, down nearly 5 per cent.

LONDON: Report, page 25.

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