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Barclays hit by Hafnia

Barclays Bank is one of the 11 creditors of Hafnia Holding, the Danish insurer that suspended payments last week, according to a list drawn up by a court-appointed supervisor.

The list did not specify the amounts owed to the creditors, which include banks in Denmark, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands as well as Britain. Hafnia's total debts are about Dkr6bn ( pounds 339m).

US trade gap up

The US trade deficit jumped 42 per cent to dollars 24.4bn during the second quarter of this year, its worst performance in 18 months. As usual, nearly half the deficit was with Japan. Imports rose by dollars 6.83bn in a widespread surge, particularly in computer equipment and civilian aircraft. Oil imports shot up 25 per cent to dollars 13bn.

Ringing changes

Maurice Dwek has resigned as chairman of Owen & Robinson, the troubled downmarket jewellery group. Alan Gaynor, former head of the Underwoods chemist chain who replaced Mr Dwek as chief executive earlier this year, will take over as chairman until a permanent replacement is found.

Traffic soars

European inter-regional airline passenger traffic was up by 20 per cent in the first six months of the year compared with the same period a year ago, the European Regional Airlines Association said.

French jobless

Seasonally adjusted unemployment in France fell by 13,300, or 0.5 per cent, to 2,911,400 in July, compared with June, representing a rate of 10.3 per cent.

Cable contender Cable and Wireless is on a shortlist of seven international bidders selected for the privatisation of Uruguay's state- owned telephone company.

Oil spending

Capital spending on UK North Sea oil is set to rise to almost pounds 18bn in the period 1992-94, with output reaching a 1995 peak above 2.5 million barrels per day, according to the analysts Arthur Andersen Petroleum Services.

Claims rejected

The Court of Appeal rejected 13 of 16 claims for damages against the US pharmaceuticals giant Eli Lilly and Co in a test case for alleged victims of the banned arthritis drug Opren, on the grounds that they had been launched after the legal time limit for such cases.

Magnate dies

Daniel Ludwig, the shipping magnate, has died at the age of 95. Mr Ludwig, one of the world's richest men, owned about 60 ocean-going vessels at the height of his career.

Rothschild quits

(First Edition)

Lord Rothschild is to resign as a non-executive director of Colefax & Fowler at its annual meeting on 17 September.

Uganda sell

(First Edition)

Uganda is to sell its loss-making state companies in a sweeping programme aimed at pulling the east African nation out of its economic woes. Finance Ministry officials said President Yoweri Museveni's government, which won power after a five-year bush war in 1986, would sell all 130 state-owned firms.

World Markets

New York: In thin, uneventful trading blue-chip shares edged ahead. By close the Dow Jones average was up 12.97 points at 3,267.61.

Tokyo: The government's pounds 40bn pick-me-up for the economy sent shares soaring in the heaviest trading of the year. The Nikkei average ended up 415.79 at 17,790.79.

Hong Kong: Good company results and window-dressing by institutions drove the Hang Seng index 167.88 higher at 5,628.60.

Sydney: Calmer currency markets helped the All Ordinaries index to a 10.6 gain at 1,553.9.

Milan: Share prices firmed despite the weakness of the lira against the mark. The MIB index edged up 0.13 per cent to 772.

Frankfurt: Profit-taking left the DAX index barely changed at 1,516.47.

Paris: Shares idled in quiet trade, with the CAC-40 index virtually unchanged at the close at 1,687.53.

London: Report, page 19.