Business and City in Brief

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Advisers line up for Russia

Braxton Associates, part of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the international accountants and consultants, and Credit Commercial de France are to lead the consortium of advisers for the Russian government's mass privatisation programme. Other advisers include J Henry Schroder Wagg and BBDO/Countrywide Communications.

Air suit

Rolls-Royce and Fokker Aircraft have been named along with USAir and Dow Chemical in an dollars 80m lawsuit in connection with a plane crash last March at New York's La Guardia Airport. The suits, filed on behalf of two victims of the crash of USAir flight 405, say the companies should have known that a de-icing solution manufactured by Dow Chemical 'was not effective on this particular airplane'.

Phone licence

Smartcom, a consortium owned by McCaw Cellular of the US, Sun Hung Kai Properties and China's post office, has won the licence to provide a digital cellular telephone system for Hong Kong. The group beat rivals including three US 'Baby Bells', Japan's NTT and Australia's OTC. McCaw, America's largest cellphone operator, is 22 per cent owned by BT.

Suspension

Fimbra, the regulator for independent financial advisers, has suspended Investment Managers (Scotland) of St Vincent Place, Glasgow, because of fears about its financial position. Accounts recently supplied by the firm to Fimbra failed to satisfy the regulator's financial resources requirements. The firm is authorised to handle clients' money but Fimbra does not believe any client money is at risk.

Krupp merger

Shareholders in Hoesch, the German steel company, yesterday voted by 99.73 per cent to merge with Fried. Krupp, giving birth to a new European industrial giant.

Benetton buys

Benetton, the Italian knitwear company, has bought four textile and clothing manufacturers from the Benetton family holding company Edizione Holding.

Chemring deal

Chemring Group, the defence and marine group, has bought the Astra Holdings subsidiary Haley and Weller from the administrative receivers. Chemring is paying pounds 1.2m and assuming pounds 858,000 of debt due to the parent.

Pub purchase

Maple Leaf Inns, the joint venture between Pubmaster and Labatt Brewing, has made its first acquisition with the purchase of 18 pubs in the North- west of England from Bass Taverns.

Hoesch fall

Hoesch, the German steel company, made profits of DM138m (pounds 49.6m) in the first half of the year, down from DM140m last time.

World Markets

New York: After a technical rally in sluggish trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 3.51 points down at 3,282.20.

Tokyo: The expected discount rate cut had no effect on the market's downward movement. The Nikkei average lost another 124.45 points to 15,373.34.

Hong Kong: Overseas sellers outweighed the effect of local bargain-hunting to send the Hang Seng index tumbling 108.37 points to 5,664.39.

Sydney: After being seven points up in morning trade the All Ordinaries index fell back to close 3.3 lower at 1,606.3.

Johannesburg: The overall index drifted down 31 points to 3,345 in lacklustre trade.

Frankfurt: A late spurt wiped out early losses and left the DAX 7.67 better at 1,618.09.

Paris: The August account opened with a 20.73-point rise by the CAC-40 to 1,755.35.

Milan: Leading blue chips took another battering, with the MIB falling 1.51 per cent.

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