Business and City in Brief

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Aircraft trim US deficit

America's trade deficit shrank by 7.7 per cent in June from May, aided by airliner sales, which lifted exports to a record, the Commerce Department said yesterday. Exports rose 1.5 times faster than imports to a record dollars 38.28bn, while imports also hit a record of dollars 44.88bn. The gap left a deficit of dollars 6.59bn, down from dollars 7.14bn in May.

A cheap dollar and rising productivity in manufacturing plants are making American goods more affordable abroad, analysts said.

Walker reprieve

George Walker, former chairman of Brent Walker, won a three-week reprieve from creditors pressing for his personal bankruptcy in the High Court. His creditors, who are said to be owed more than pounds 90m, will vote on whether to make him bankrupt on 10 September.

Russian account

The Chartered Association of Certified Accountants is to help develop the training of accountants in Russia. The three- year project, funded by the British Government's Know How Fund, will be launched at Moscow's Academy of National Economy in November.

Bid cleared

Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, has decided not to refer to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission the proposed acquisition by the Pentland Group of the remaining share capital of Bernard Tapie Finance that it does not already own.

French slip

French industrial production fell 0.4 per cent in June from May, a fall in energy output pulling the index down for the second month in a row, seasonally adjusted data from the National Statistics Office showed. The index stood at 112.7, half a point lower than in June 1991.

Barclays dollars 500m

Barclays Bank is to raise dollars 500m ( pounds 260m) in the US using convertible capital notes. The proposed issue gives the bank access to equity-type capital while allowing tax savings normally associated with plain debt issues. Details were filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday.

BAA concession

In the face of fierce competition, Sky Sites, part of Avenir Havas Media, Europe's biggest outdoor advertising firm, has renewed its concession on advertising space at BAA airports in a move that could generate pounds 160m for BAA over the next seven years.

Wang cuts

About 100 jobs are to be lost in the Irish Republic as a result of Wang Laboratories' decision to cut its worldwide workforce by 5,000.

World Markets

New York: A late sell-off pushed stocks down abruptly. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 22.42 points to close at 3,307.06.

Paris: The CAC-40 index ended 2.51 points lower at 1,734.21.

Milan: The MIB all share index closed floor trading 0.13 per cent down at 786.

Frankfurt: The 30-share DAX index ended a volatile session 8.50 points lower at 1,524.72.

Johannesburg: The overall index was 28 points up at 3,167.

Bangkok: The SET index rose 7.89 points to 757.72.

Hong Kong: Prices tumbled in moderate trading after early gains. The Hang Seng Index fell 54.72 points to 5,620.44.

Tokyo: Prices rebounded from Tuesday's six-year low in response to government market- saving measures. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed 341.33 points up at 14,650.74.

Sydney: The All-Ordinaries index closed 3.4 points down at 1,561.6 in a muted response to Tuesday's federal budget.

London: Report, page 31.

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