The US chemicals company Monsanto has agreed to sell its Fisher Controls subsidiary to Emerson Electric, the American electronic and electrical goods group, for dollars 1.275bn.
Fisher, based in St Louis, Missouri, has about 7,000 employees and annual sales of dollars 928m and specialises in the supply of control equipment to process industries.
Speculation increased that the Government will privatise the Scottish water industry after the Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian Lang, appointed the consultants Quayle Munro, of Edinburgh, to study the future of the industry 'including a role for the private sector'.
Germany says an EC proposal to restrict banana imports from Latin American countries is jeopardising a successful conclusion to the Uruguay round of Gatt trade talks.
BOC, the British industrial gases and healthcare group, has formed a new joint venture group in northern China. The venture, Tianjin BOC Industrial Gases, is the result of an agreement with Hua Bei Oxygen in the Peking-Tianjin area.
AIR FARES DROP
Delta Air Lines announced that it would lower transatlantic fares this autumn and winter by about 30 per cent. British Airways quickly matched the cuts.
The European Commission has dropped a legal action against uncompetitive practices by French and Italian electricity networks because they had changed a pricing accord.
Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer products group, is in advanced negotiations to acquire the Dutch hair care products group Andrelon Cosmetics.
Three more Italian commercial banks have cut their prime rates following the Bank of Italy's recent half-point cut in the discount rate to 13.25 per cent.
Wardle Storeys, the life-saving equipment maker, has clinched a further pounds 700,000 contract from the French Defence Ministry for its GQ type 360 parachutes.
The Austrian government yesterday announced that anyone found guilty of money laundering will face a prison sentence of up to five years from next year.
NEW YORK: Profit-taking from last week's gains of more than 100 points sent blue chips to a modestly lower close. The Dow Jones Average closed 11.08 points lower at 3,384.32.
TOKYO: A directionless day ended with the Nikkei average 16.86 points easier at 15,692.59.
HONG KONG: A wave of retail selling was fuelled by rights issue rumours. The Hang Seng index fell 50.95 to 5,859.78.
SYDNEY: The All Ordinaries lost 4.8 to 1,612.5 in dull trading.
BOMBAY: In thin trade the index dropped 36.16 to 2,686.49.
PARIS: Peugeot shares were dragged down by news of an 8.7 per cent fall in new car sales. The CAC-40 index edged up 3.19 points to 1,787.63.
FRANKFURT: A technical recovery lifted shares by 1 per cent, with the DAX index 16.8 points to the good at 1,611.51.
MILAN: Prices surged for a second day following the surprise half-point cut in the discount rate. The MIB, at 835, was more than 2 per cent higher.
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