Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
ASHMAN CASH IN HARLAND BUYOUT

Roy Ashman, the former Harland Simon boss who was paid pounds 360,000 compensation and nearly pounds 1m from the pension scheme before the group failed earlier this year, has put money behind the management buyout of Harland Simon Control Systems from the receivers.

Tony White, joint managing director, hinted that Mr Ashman might become the chairman, though he said he would not be involved in its management.

ISOSCELES RETHINK

Isosceles, the heavily borrowed group that owns Gateway supermarkets, confirmed it may have to undergo a third restructuring. But it would consider it only after it completes a review of its trading strategy.

US DEFICIT SOARS

The US balance of payments deficit in the third quarter soared 8.1 per cent to dollars 26.54bn, its highest level in nearly two years.

642m POUNDS TRAIN ORDER

A consortium led by GEC Alsthom, the Anglo-French engineering group, has won a pounds 642m order to supply 135 trains to SNCF, the state- owned French railway.

DUTCH PAPER TIGER

The Dutch paper firms KNP, VRG Group and Buehrmann Tetterode plan a full merger on equal terms. The new group will have combined sales of about pounds 5bn.

BEEFED UP

Frauds in EC subsidy schemes in Ireland were the result of government negligence, the tribunal of inquiry into the Irish beef industry heard.

DOWTY SELLS

BAeSema, British Aerospace's joint venture with Sema Group, has bought the 50 per cent of Dowty Sema held by Dowty Group, a subsidiary of TI. The cost was not disclosed.

30m POUNDS FOR SHORTS

Shorts, the Belfast aerospace company, has won a pounds 30m contract to make casings for a new range of engines from BMW Rolls-Royce.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Optimism over the economy pushed the Dow Jones Average up 22.96 points to close at 3,305.16.

FRANKFURT: The DAX index gained 21.39 points to 1,544.34.

MADRID: The general index lost 1.43 points to 213.86.

MILAN: The MIB index fell nine points to 863.

PARIS: The CAC-40 index closed 21.71 points higher at 1,771.37 after a volatile session.

JOHANNESBURG: Keen buying interest in the diamond giant De Beers and other index-linked blue chips lifted the all-share index 58 points to 3,192.

HONG KONG: The Hang Seng index closed 176.04 points lower at 5,810.63 on anxiety over the rift between China and Britain over Hong Kong's future.

SINGAPORE: The Straits Times Industrial index closed 21.11 points higher at 1,469.07.

TOKYO: The Nikkei 225 index rose 213.04 points to 17,683.65.

SYDNEY: Poor trade data wiped out early gains. The All Ordinaries index lost 2.7 to 1,448.1.

LONDON: Report, page 23.

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