Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
COLORGRAPHIC BUSINESSES SOLD

The two core printing businesses of Colorgraphic, the crashed advertising and direct mail company, have been sold, free of debt, for about pounds 4m.

The buyers are Michael Hunter, founder and, until last March, chairman of HunterPrint, the troubled printing group, and Max Harvey, who used to run St Ives, the successful printing company.

TWO IN DEFAULT

Two investment firms have been declared in default, so investors are eligible for compensation to cover their losses. Ricca Simon Financial Services, a financial adviser, of Sutton, Surrey, had 15 investors and a deficit of pounds 1.2m. Cobbold Roach, which dealt in shares and securities, had about 25 investors.

HOLMES APPROVAL

Shareholders in Holmes Protection, the security alarm company, have approved refinancing plans. The deal clears dollars 73m of debt, giving lenders 19 per cent of the equity.

NATWEST BUY

National Westminster Bank is to buy the Milan branch of Continental Bank for an undisclosed price. The branch will focus on treasury, risk management, capital markets services and corporate banking.

MERGER CLEARED

The European Commission has approved plans by France's Rhone-Poulenc and Italy's SNIA Fibre to merge their polyamide fibre activities in the manufacture of carpets, textiles and for technical use.

LUFTHANSA LOSS

Lufthansa's group pre-tax loss for the first half of 1992 rose to about DM550m ( pounds 240m) against losses of DM331m last year. Full details of its interim results will be released soon.

STAKE RETURNED

Cookson Group has sold its 24 per cent stake in Nanshing Color and Chemical of Hong Kong back to the company.

HK PLACING

Hutchison Whampoa, of Hong Kong, is raising HKdollars 4.47bn ( pounds 305m) via a share placement. Hutchison's shareholder Cheung Kong will take up 40 per cent of the stock being offered to maintain its stake. The balance will be offered to institutional investors.

MANDERS ROW

the Takeover Panel has forced Manders to clarify a statement in its defence document against the pounds 95m bid from Kalon. The document said that the fact that Kalon did not underwrite its offer was 'damning', but Kalon said it had not tried to do so. Manders said it had not intended to imply that Kalon had made an unsuccessful attempt at underwriting.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Ahead of a dollars 36bn treasury funding and important economic data, shares were cautious. The Dow Jones average was 5.40 points higher at 3,337.58 at the close.

TOKYO: Stocks closed sharply weaker but off their lows, with the Nikkei average 451.93 points down at 15,066.34.

HONG KONG: Moderate gains in cautious trade took the Hang Seng index up 17.01 to 5,867.94.

SYDNEY: The All Ordinaries index moved up 5.5 to 1,592.3.

BOMBAY: A rally following a sluggish start lifted the index 77.57 (3 per cent) to 2,668.98.

JOHANNESBURG: Leading stocks fell across the board. The overall index lost 24 points to 3,346.

FRANKFURT: The DAX index slid to a seven-month low of 1,582.55, losing 26.95 points.

PARIS: The market's quietest day of the year ended with the CAC-40 index carrying a 22.05- point deficit at 1,755.22.

MILAN: Overseas profit-taking helped to pull the MIB down 2.6 per cent to close at 799.

LONDON: Report, page 19.

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