The Government has appointed SG Warburg as financial adviser, global co-ordinator and lead UK broker to the sale in 1993-94 of part of its remaining 22 per cent holding of shares in British Telecom.
The Treasury added that no decisions had yet been taken on the size, structure or timing of the sale.
Oil price slips
Oil prices fell sharply in London after a UN weapons inspector said Iraq was willing to provide details of the supply network for its nuclear programme. North Sea Brent January futures fell from a high of dollars 18.31 a barrel to dollars 17.94.
Cedric Brown, British Gas's chief executive, accused Ofgas of a 'public outburst' on the amount it can charge other companies for using its pipes. The company, under investigation by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, said Sir James McKinnon, head of Ofgas, had 'ignored all the established conventions of an MMC reference' by speaking out on pipeline charges at a meeting in London on Monday.
EC jobless up
Unemployment in the European Community rose to 14.6 million, or 9.8 per cent, in October from 13.3 million a year ago, its highest point since June 1988.
84.2 per cent of Ranks Hovis McDougall, having secured acceptances from holders of 221.1 million shares, representing 61.97 per cent of the capital, by the closing date on Monday. Of those accepting, 97.4 million elected to receive 260p in cash, with the rest opting for shares, or a mixture.
Yea moves up
Philip Yea will succeed Ian Duncan as finance director of the drinks giant Guinness when Mr Duncan retires next year. Mr Yea is finance director of Guinness Brewing Worldwide.
5.2% US growth
The National Association of Purchasing Management expects the US economy to grow 5.2 per cent next year before adjusting for inflation, with capital spending up 6.2 per cent.
Japan cuts rates
Japan's largest banks are reducing short-term lending rates to best customers by 0.25 percentage points to 4.5 per cent, the lowest level since June 1989.
Fearful for jobs
Almost half the UK population fear there will be job losses where they work in the new year, while 77 per cent lack confidence in the Government to lead the country out of recession, according to a survey by the British Market Research Bureau.
New York: Shaking off early profit-taking, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 14.85 points higher at 3,322.18.
Sydney: Shares were boosted by a strong overnight US market. The All Ordinaries rose 24.2 points to 1,468.9.
Hong Kong: Hopes of an early political settlement lifted the Hang Seng index by 10.61 points to 5,202.36.
Tokyo: Share prices closed higher on index-linked buying from investment funds. The Nikkei 225 index closed up 74.73 points at 17,281.85.
Frankfurt: German shares sank to their lowest close for a month, weighed down by the sharply lower dollar and poor results at Deutsche Bank. The DAX index closed 17.08 points down at 1,508.24.
Paris: Pessimism over interest rates left the CAC-40 index 22.73 points lower at 1,765.88.
Zurich: Shares were boosted by foreign demand. The Swiss Market index closed 7.7 points higher at 1,962.2.