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Business and City in brief

BA alliance row to escalate

The row over British Airways' proposed dollars 750m (pounds 384m) alliance with USAir will reach new heights as airline executives meet at the World Aerospace and Air Transport Conference in London.

Lawrence Nagin, vice-president of United, said the BA link with USAir was in violation of US law. It would require legislative changes and should be used as a lever to liberalise the air agreement between Britain and the US.

Orion out

Orion Insurance, part of the Dutch company Internationale Nederlanden Group, has withdrawn from insuring large international risks in London.

KLM rise

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines plans to raise the number of flights worldwide in its winter schedule by 31 per cent, or 220 per week, from 25 October.

Units sold

Investors redeemed nearly pounds 142m more unit trusts than they bought in July, according to the Unit Trust Association. This was the industry's worst month since the start of hostilities in the Gulf.

BAe venture

British Aerospace, Dassault Aviation and Deutsche Aerospace have formed a consortium including Alenia, Fokker and Casa of Spain to develop a maritime patrol aircraft, the companies said jointly.

Bannon goes

John Bannon has resigned as head of the South Australian government, saying he accepts responsibility for huge losses by the State Bank of South Australia. The Labor government has injected Adollars 3.1bn into the bank to make good the losses.

German sales fall

West German wholesale sales totalled DM82bn in July, down 1 per cent on a year earlier, but up 1 per cent after taking account of inflation, the Federal Statistics Office said.

HK funds plan

China has suggested that Hong Kong raise funds for the rail link in its new airport project by selling adjoining lands estimated to be worth HKdollars 42.5bn, according to a Chinese source quoted by Ta Kung Pao daily.

Ansbacher talks

Henry Ansbacher Holdings confirmed that it was in talks with First National Bank Holdings of South Africa regarding a possible offer for HAH.

Gas purchase

A European consortium including British Gas and German and French gas producers has bought an eastern German company that was Eastern Europe's leader in gas research.

Butlins bookings

UK bookings at Butlins, The holiday camp group owned by Rank Organisation, are expected to be 'less than 12 per cent down', the company said.

World Markets

New York: Stronger bond prices caused a late rally, leaving the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 8.91 points at 3,266.26 at the close.

Tokyo: The market fell back after its recent gains, with a 321.06-point fall leaving the Nikkei average at 17,740.06.

Hong Kong: Active trade after the long weekend took the Hang Seng up 82.97 to 5,711.57.

Sydney: A quiet day was dominated by selling of industrial stocks. The All Ordinaries index slipped 4.7 to 1,542.5.

Johannesburg: A sharp rebound in the financial rand restricted gains on the overall index to seven points at 3,159.

Paris: With investors worried over the vote on the Maastricht treaty, the CAC-40 index fell 10.65 points to 1,674.23.

Frankfurt: A gloomy forecast for the German economy helped to send the DAX index down 22.55 points to 1,518.7.

Milan: With key stocks closing near their session lows, the MIB lost 1.56 per cent to 755.