Business and City in Brief

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Foreign investors shun Treuhand

Germany's Treuhand agency, entrusted with privatising industry in the former Communist east, said right-wing disturbances were scaring off foreign investors, who were urgently needed to revive the region.

Officials in Potsdam admitted that a US investor pulled out of buying a wood company because of the disturbances.

Treuhand was started in 1990 with some 12,000 companies. It hopes to reduce its stock to 2,000 by the end of this year and finish privatising by 1994.

US growth slows

Economic growth in the US slowed sharply in September to its lowest level since January, according to a regular purchasing managers' survey. The US Commerce Department also announced that in August construction spending suffered its steepest fall for nine months.

Moses stroke

Ken Moses, joint Deputy Chairman of British Coal, is critically ill having suffered a stroke. He is a key member of the team negotiating contracts with the electricity generators, vital to the company's future.

O&Y holds on

Olympia & York's US arm is continuing its campaign to avoid bankruptcy, despite figures showing that its net worth has fallen to negative dollars 640m. Concern about the company grew yesterday when JP Morgan and Bank of Montreal, two of its senior lenders, boycotted a creditors' meeting.

Westpac exits

The chairman and four other directors of Westpac, Australia's biggest bank, resigned yesterday following the failure of a Adollars 1.2bn rights issue.

New issues rise

A total of pounds 1.8bn has been raised on the stock market so far this year, more than in any full year since 1987, according to KPMG Peat Marwick.

EC clearances

The European Commission has approved the acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in Fiat Carrelli by German company Linde and the purchase of GTE's international lighting business outside North America by a group led by Citicorp.

Fees hike

Insolvency fees at leading accountants have increased by an average of 40 per cent over the past year, according to the first issue of Insolvency Bulletin.

Abbey casualties

Abbey National has made two senior executives redundant as a result of its reorganisation to set out a line of succession to group chief executive Peter Birch. They are Peter Radcliffe, director of banking, and Mike Burn, managing director of insurance and pensions.

Tarmac PSA deal

(First Edition)

Tarmac Construction is taking over PSA Projects, the design and project management arm of the former Property Services Agency, and is being paid pounds 49.75m by the Government to smooth the transition to the private sector. At least 925 of the company's 1,800 employees will be retained.

DAF deal

(First Edition)

The loss-making Dutch truck group, DAF, said it expected to finalise terms of a government-backed 210m guilder (pounds 76m) loan in the next few days after its share price plunged on rumours that state aid would be refused.

World Markets

New York: Worries about today's jobs figures continued to blunt interest, with the Dow Jones average down 17.29 at 3,254.37 at the close.

Tokyo: Early gains were once more eroded to leave the Nikkei average 29.17 points easier at 17,369.91.

Hong Kong: A technical rebound in light trade lifted the Hang Seng 23.4 to 5,528.84.

Sydney: The All Ordinaries index dipped 13 points to an 18- month low of 1,472.1.

Bombay: Lacklustre trade ended with the index 21.3 points higher at 3,315.72.

Johannesburg: Weakness in the financial rand helped shares off lows. The overall index eased seven points to 3,204.

Frankfurt: Renewed hopes of an interest rate cut spurred the DAX index to a 1.2 per cent gain, finishing at 1,484.03.

Paris: The CAC-40 drifted down 12.73 points to 1,758.38.

Milan: A sharp fall in Montedison snuffed out a rally. The MIB fell 0.14 per cent to 716.

London: Report, page 27.