Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
Morgan takes a tumble

Morgan Grenfell has fallen almost to the bottom of the league table of advisers on cross-border mergers and acquisitions compiled by Acquisitions Monthly. Goldman Sachs was toppled from number one spot in a shake-up of the pecking order among merchant banks in the latest six months.

Morgan came 14th with eight cross-border deals worth only pounds 343m. Goldman Sachs was sixth with nine deals worth pounds 701m. Societe Generale was first after being unranked last year.

BCCI firm sold CCL

Assurance, the life office linked to the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, has been acquired by Century Group, a specialist in running defunct life offices. CCL's pounds 100m under management lifts Century's funds to nearly pounds 1bn.

AIB jobs cut

Allied Irish Bank is to shed 220 British staff because of the recession. The cuts are in central support and non-core activities.

IT counts

Accountancy students will be able to qualify through work experience in insolvency and information technology as well as the traditional areas of accounting, auditing, tax and financial management, under new professional guidelines.

Prolific sale

Hafnia, the troubled Danish insurer, said it was close to selling Prolific, its British financial services arm. Hafnia said it would probably sell or merge its main insurance and banking operations with one of the big Danish insurers.

Wang lay-offs

Wang Laboratories, the US computer company, is to lay off 150 out of 300 workers at its plant in Limerick, Ireland, following its filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Notes for ECC

English China Clays filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for up to dollars 250m of guaranteed notes due in September 2002. Proceeds will be used to repay debt.

TWA deal

Trans World Airlines obtained the approval of a US bankruptcy court judge for its proposed pay cut agreement with unions, which the airline said was critical in continuing operations. TWA said the agreement would save it dollars 153m.

Lionhope plan

(First Edition)

Receivers to Lionhope (Kent), with the backing of Citibank, are to challenge the Government's decision to refuse the company planning permission to build 8 million sq ft of industrial, warehouse and business space between Sheerness and Sittingbourne in northern Kent.

World Markets

New York: Spurred on by futures-linked buying, stocks forged ahead. The Dow Jones Average gained 33.77 points to close at 3,305.16.

Tokyo: Stocks edged up. The Nikkei average was up 32.92 points at 18,908.47 by the close.

Hong Kong: Shares plunged on a wave of rush selling triggered by worries about worsening Sino-US trade relations. The Hang Seng lost 95.44 points to close at 5,631.55.

Sydney: Big purchases in Westpac's rights issue lifted the market. The All Ordinaries closed 5.1 points up at 1,484.

Johannesburg: Gold shares regained some ground but the index fell 36 points to 3,049.

Frankfurt: Currency worries kept the market nervous. The DAX index edged up 3.41 points to 1,528.67.

Paris: Rumours of lower German interest rates pushed the CAC index 17.41 points higher to 1,774.18.

Milan: The MIB index closed 0.41 per cent higher at 732.

London: Report, page 25.