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Maxwell lawsuit

is delayed An EC lawsuit being filed by British pensioners whose retirement savings were looted by the late publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell has been delayed in a dispute over costs.

Robin Ellison, a lawyer for the Maxwell Pensioners Action Group, said the British government had refused to waive its right to claim costs should the lawsuit fail.

British Coal

British Coal is to appoint two firms of solicitors, Herbert Smith and Nabarro Nathanson, to assist with privatisation.

Green Park KPMG

Peat Marwick has been appointed as administrative receiver of Green Park Health Care and its subsidiary Green Park Health Care Services, the nursing and residential home operator. Total debts of the group are estimated at pounds 11m.

Master Pork

Avonmore Foods, one of Ireland's biggest food companies, has bought 49 per cent of the Master Pork Group for Ir pounds 2.39m ( pounds 2.24m). Further payments of Ir pounds 500,000 and Ir pounds 400,000 are due on the first and second anniversaries of the deal.

Bulgarian airline

Balkan Bulgarian Airlines has been adopted as the national carrier of Bulgaria. It will have a 15-year franchise to 53 international destinations.

Drug trials

The British Bio-technology Group has begun trials of its new drug BB-882, a potential treatment of shock for hospital patients.

Lautro action Lautro has asked 13 life assurance companies marketing with-profit bonds to withdraw and revise one or more items from their marketing material. Two more companies have been asked to write to investors to clarify key points.

BZW appointed

BZW has been appointed by the State of Michigan to advise on the privatisation of the Accident Fund of Michigan, the first privatisation of an insurance company in the US.

Elf Aquitaine fall

First-half net profits at Elf Aquitaine, the French oil company, fell 23 per cent to Fr3.34bn ( pounds 355m) from Fr4.3bn a year earlier.

Smurfit deal

Jefferson Smurfit, the Irish paper, packaging and financial services firm, has bought a waste paper plant in Scotland from SCA, part of Svenska Cellulosa, for an undisclosed price. It processes more than 30,000 tons of waste paper per year.

World Markets

New York: The dollar crisis pushed shares down and the Dow Jones Average finished the day at 3,228.17, down 25.93 points.

Paris: The dollar's fall triggered a sell-off. The CAC-40 closed down 54.47 points at 1,689.71.

Frankfurt: The tumbling dollar sent share prices to their lowest close in more than a year. The 30-share DAX index dropped 1.4 per cent to 1,498.74.

Milan: A weak lira hit share prices. The MIB index closed down 1.51 per cent at 785.

Johannesburg: De Beers led a decline in steady trade. The overall index closed 31 points weaker at 3,148.

Hong Kong: The Hang Seng Index ended down 118.46 points at 5,390.93.

Tokyo: Stocks jumped for the fourth day in a row and the Nikkei average surged 411.08 points to 16,627.96.

Sydney: Despite the rally in Tokyo, the All Ordinaries index sank 19.8 points to 1,539.5.

London: Report, page 21.