Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
GE launches European assault

General Electric of the US has formed a European subsidiary to compete in the market for power and industrial gas turbines. GE is one of the world's leading suppliers of gas-fired power generation systems based on combined cycle gas turbine technology.

The growth in this type of gas-fired generation in the UK is the reason for the accelerated demise of British Coal, expected to announce 30 pit closures today with the loss of up to 30,000 jobs.

PW lifts income

Price Waterhouse, the accountants and management consultants, saw fee income for the year to 30 June increase by only 2 per cent to pounds 395.1m. In the previous three years it had more than doubled, from pounds 185m to pounds 388m.

Disney visitors

The Euro Disneyland theme park outside Paris attracted 7 million visitors in its first six months. The park has a goal of 11 million visitors for its first year, but attendance will probably decline during the winter.

Campbell offer

Campbell Soup will offer USdollars 6.34 a share for the shares it does not own in Arnotts, Australia's leading producer of biscuits and crackers. Campbell already has a 33 per cent stake.

Volvo brakes

Volvo says it might close two Swedish assembly plants because of overcapacity. It also plans to cut production of 1993 models by an additional 12,000 cars.

Sweet victory

Philip Morris has won more than half of Freia Marabou, Scandinavia's biggest chocolate firm, beating off a takeover challenge from an American rival, Hershey Foods. Three of Freia's four biggest shareholders, holding 54.9 per cent of the firm, said they had accepted an offer valuing Freia at dollars 1.5bn.

French injection

The French government is offering a Fr36bn (pounds 4.2bn) package of low-interest loans and loan guarantees to small businesses.

Allied-Lyons post

Allied-Lyons, the food and drinks giant, has appointed Stephen Alexander as managing director of Lyons, its food and manufacturing arm, with effect from 1 November. David Beatty, currently deputy chairman of Lyons and a director of Allied-Lyons, will retire on 28 February next year.

Homes default

Andrews Green Financial Services, of Rayleigh, Essex, which arranged home income plans, has been declared in default by the Investors Compensation Scheme.

Bail-out inquiry

The European Commission has opened an inquiry into plans by the Irish government to bail out firms that face ruin as a result of the devaluation of the pound. About a third of Irish exports go to Britain.

World Markets

New York: Hopes of lower interest rate in the US inspired shares. The Dow Jones Average was 37.83 points higher at 3,174.41 at the close.

Tokyo: Support for electrical and exporter shares propelled the Nikkei index 242.23 higher at 17,302.01.

Hong Kong: A US-Sino trade agreement boosted the Hang Seng index 128.86 to 5,725.57.

Sydney: The All Ordinaries index shed 3.3 to 1,463 as investors remained on the sidelines.

Johannesburg: The sharply lower gold price triggered a 54- point decline in the overall index to 3,024.

Milan: Profit-taking erased early gains to leave the MIB index down 3 at 783.

Frankfurt: The DAX index ended 13.05 ahead at 1,432.54 as futures trading helped shares to recoup early losses.

Zurich: Moderate demand for blue chips nudged the SWI index 3.1 higher at 1,881.5.

Paris: The CAC index fell 0.14 per cent to 1,655.05.

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