Business and City in Brief

Bomb damage aid unconfirmed

The Department of Trade described as 'speculative' weekend reports that the Government will help City firms to pay for bomb damage caused by such terrorist outrages as the attack on the Baltic Exchange in London earlier this year.

Time chief dies

Steven Ross, aged 65, chairman and co-chief executive of Time Warner, the media conglomerate, died early yesterday, following a recent battle against prostate cancer, the company said.

Japan slows

Japan's Economic Planning Agency has cut its forecast of GNP growth for 1992/3 sharply from 3.5 per cent to 1.6 per cent. But the EPA, with the endorsement of the Japanese Cabinet, expects growth to rise to 3.3 per cent in 1993/4.

Gateway gain

David Simons, who planned to step down as finance director of Storehouse in March, has been recruited to take over as chief executive of Isosceles, the highly indebted owner of the Gateway supermarket chain. The food retailer is negotiating with banks to win a six-month standstill on interest payments.

BA gloom

British officials in Washington are said to be gloomy about the Prime Minister's chances of winning approval for British Airways' agreed plan to buy 44 per cent of USAir. A decision is expected by Christmas Eve.

Toyota link

Toyota and Volkswagen have agreed to extend an agreement jointly to produce Toyota cars at Hanover in north-west Germany for another two years. Production is planned to rise by 2,000 cars to 15,000 by the end of 1996.

Tax trouble

The US and Dutch governments have signed an income tax treaty that could affect a 'significant proportion' of FT- SE 100 companies, according to the accountants Ernst & Young. The treaty reduces the tax advantages of owning international subsidiaries through Dutch companies.

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