Business and City in Brief

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BZW wields axe in reorganisation

Barclays de Zoete Wedd, the investment banking arm of Barclays, has shed 12 staff, including three directors, in a re- organisation of its corporate finance division following a decline in UK mergers and acquisitions business.

BZW's smaller companies team and divestitures unit disappear, while the debt/equity finance group expands.

GM loses dollars 752m

General Motors reported a dollars 752m ( pounds 473m) loss in its third quarter. Losses would have been almost double but for strong profits at non-US automotive subsidiaries. Vehicle sales in North America slipped below 1 million, but European sales fell only 1 per cent from a year ago.

Rescue on hold

The board of Independent Television News has reached no decision on the pounds 30m rescue bid from a consortium led by Carlton Communications. It meets again on 9 November.

German prices up

Consumer price inflation in western Germany rose to 3.8 per cent in October from 3.4 per cent in September.

60m pounds helicopters

Westland Helicopters has won a pounds 60m contract from the Ministry of Defence for six new Sea King Mk 3 helicopters.

Fokker go-ahead

Fokker, the Dutch aircraft group, is to proceed with its troubled deal with Deutsche Aerospace (Dasa), which will take a 51 per cent stake in the company at a price of 37 guilders ( pounds 13.60) a share.

Rich BP strike

British Petroleum has estimated recoverable reserves of at least 2 billion barrels of oil in the Cusiana field in Colombia.

Car sales hit

New UK vehicle registrations in September declined 7 per cent from a year ago.

Philips warning

Philips, the electronics giant, may shed more jobs unless unions agree to a wage cut.

Oil reserves rise

(First Edition)

Britain's North Sea oil reserves rose 6 per cent in September, boosted by the lower pound.

IoD seeks cut

(First Edition)

The Institute of Directors wants interest rates cut by 2 percentage points to stop a 'vicious circle' of decline.

Home loans up

(First Edition)

Banks lent a gross pounds 5.2bn for house purchases in the third quarter, compared with pounds 4.4bn in the second.


NEW YORK: Pre-election nerves kept trading dull, with shares edging lower. By the close the Dow Jones Average was down 5.13 points at 3,246.27.

TOKYO: Late index-linked selling pulled the Nikkei average down 130.7 points to 16,937.71.

HONG KONG: A morning rally petered out, and the Hang Seng index drifted to close 9.48 points easier at 6,117.5.

SYDNEY: Amid high turnover the All Ordinaries index finished virtually unchanged at 1,417.8, just half a point lower.

JOHANNESBURG: Demand for quality industrials boosted the market. The overall index added seven points to 3,017.

FRANKFURT: The expected as- you-were on interest rates brought quiet trade in which the DAX fell 16.66 to 1,493.64.

PARIS: A cut in the Bank of France's emergency funding rate came as no surprise. The CAC-40 lost 18.99 to 1,730.87.

MILAN: Consolidating its recent gains, the MIB moved up another four points to 848.

LONDON: Report, page 25.