Business and City in brief

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The Independent Online

NEW YORK: Program trading was said to be largely responsible for a 10.27-point fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average to 3,320.83 by the close.

TOKYO: A slight pick-up in volume gave faint hope of an end to the slide. The Nikkei average eased 48.77 points to 14,773.79.

HONG KONG: The suspension of 10 companies in the Allied Group ended an early rally, and the Hang Seng index closed 7.56 points lower at 5,879.71.

SYDNEY: The All Ordinaries index plumbed a 17-week low at 1,570.7, a fall of 16.9 points.

JOHANNESBURG: Prices lost another 3 per cent on De Beers' dividend warning. The overall index fell 101 points to 3,208.

FRANKFURT: High interest rates and a weak corporate outlook kept sentiment negative. The DAX index dropped 11.59 points to end at 1,553.01.

PARIS: The CAC-40 index finished near its 1992 low, falling 7.75 to 1,730.05 in thin trade.

OSLO: The index lost 1.79 points to a 3 1/2 -year low of 349.22.

LONDON: Report, page 23.


The stock market in Shenzhen, where thousands of disappointed Chinese investors rioted this week over alleged corruption, reopened on a calm note yesterday. But shares fell heavily for the second successive day in Shanghai.

While huge demand for the limited supply of stock was said to be responsible for the trouble in Shenzhen, analysts blamed the slump on the prospect of a sharp increase in the number of shares. Some issues dropped by as much as 50 per cent before the index recovered to 781.77, down 9.5 per cent.


Anthony John Smithson, former company secretary of the Arrows trade finance group, was remanded on conditional bail after being arrested at his Manchester home and charged with two offences under the Theft Act. He was ordered to surrender his passport and flying licence. His arrest follows an investigation into Arrows by the Serious Fraud Office. Arrows was compulsorily wound up last December. The charges are of obtaining property by deception and of dishonestly obtaining services.


Ballot papers were sent to the creditors of Bank of Credit and Commerce International yesterday to allow them to vote on the refund proposals put together by the bank's liquidators and the Abu Dhabi authorities.


A North Sea oil asset swap has been agreed under which Elf, the French oil group, is buying Amerada Hess's interest in the Franklin field and selling Amerada Hess its stake in the Anglia field.


United Airlines is launching a daily round-the-world service next February linking New York, London, Delhi, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Los Angeles.


The Nebraska investor Warren Buffet has spent dollars 41m raising his stake in the Wells Fargo financial group to 10.75 per cent from 9.7 per cent.


The hamburger chain McDonald's is to open a second fast food restaurant in Moscow.


There were 8 per cent fewer job vacancies in July compared with the same month last year. According to the Alfred Marks employment bureau vacancies fell 7 per cent in June.


The Italian government has agreed to privatise the state railroad system, the Ferrovie dello Stato, which will have 170,000 employees.


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The pan-German capital account surplus narrowed to a provisional DM5bn (pounds 1.77bn) in June from DM8.75bn.


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Australia's ruling Labour Party national executive has given permission for the merger and subsequent sale of Quantas Airways and Australian Airlines.