Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
Western firms delist in Tokyo

Five large Western companies yesterday applied for delisting from the Tokyo stock exchange because of heavy listing costs, depressed market conditions and a declining number of shareholders.

The companies are General Motors, Philips Electronics, News Corporation, Avon Products and FPL Group. All but General Motors obtained their listings during the Tokyo bull market of the late 1980s, eager to join domestic companies in their rush to raise money at minimal cost by issuing new equity.

Liffe record

Volumes on the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange reached record levels yesterday as a result of the turbulent conditions on European foreign exchange and money markets. An estimated 850,000 futures and options contracts changed hands, surpassing the previous record of 641,542 and representing a nominal value of pounds 243bn.

US gloom

Industrial production in the US in August fell 0.5 per cent. Economists said the decline indicated that the manufacturing sector was faltering. Meanwhile, Jake Kelderman, executive director of the National Auto Dealers Association, said sales of new US-made vehicles this year would total 12.9 million, below earlier projections but up from 1991 when sales totalled 12.5 million. Earlier 1992 estimates were 13.2 million.

PO shake-up

KPMG Peat Marwick, the chartered accountants and management consultants, and Kleinwort Benson, the merchant bank, have been appointed by the Department of Trade and Industry to advise on the future organisation and structure of the Post Office.

Italian ratings

Moody's Investor Service confirmed Credito Italiano's debt ratings following the announcement by the Italian Government that it would privatise the largely state-owned bank. But Moody's added that its ratings for Italian banks remained under downward pressure.

Gas supply

National Power announced it had reached agreement for a 15-year supply of natural gas of around 50 million cubic feet per day from the Brae fields.

Remy warns

Remy-Cointreau, the French drinks group, warned that it might not meet its goal of Fr3m net attributable profit in the 1992/93 accounting year.

China deal

Ericsson, the Swedish telecommunications group, announced a dollars 116m agreement to extend the telecommunications network in China over three years.

World Markets

New York: Turmoil on foreign exchanges had its impact on the stock market, with the Dow Jones average closing 8.38 points down at 3,318.94.

Tokyo: The financial sector came under heavy pressure as the Nikkei average dived 526.7 points to close at 17,944.7.

Hong Kong: Taking its direction from poor performances overseas, the Hang Seng index fell 20.71 points to 5,633.13.

Sydney: Heavy selling of Foster's and BHP shares continued. The All Ordinaries index retreated 24 points to 1,506.4.

Johannesburg: Despite a 2.13 per cent rise in gold shares, other sectors were weak. The overall index lost 40 points to 3,138.

Paris: A dramatic upswing near the close took the CAC-40 index to 1,859.78, up 23.63 points.

Frankfurt: Nervous and volatile trading took the DAX index 2.99 lower to 1,584.56.

Milan: Short-covering boosted prices from opening lows but the MIB, at 696, still showed a loss of more than 5 per cent.

London: Report, page 33.