Business and City in Brief

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US PLANS SANCTIONS AGAINST EUROPE

The US administration is preparing a detailed list of sanctions against the European Community in the dispute over access to the EC telecommunications market, the US trade representative, Mickey Kantor, said yesterday.

He said the sanctions, decided after the failure of negotiations, would be limited to public contracts not covered by bilateral agreements or under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

NEW FIAT CODE

Fiat, hard hit by Italy's corruption scandals, is seeking to restore its reputation with a new code of conduct. The car maker has banned the paying of any kind of bribes to win business and said any employee breaking the rule faced dismissal.

BID CAN GO AHEAD

The German cartel office has approved the takeover bid of Warner- Lambert, the US company, for Wilkinson Sword Europe, at present owned by Eemland of the Netherlands. The anti-trust agency said that Wilkinson Europe, which has about a 33 per cent market share in Europe and Germany, would provide needed competition against the market leader, Gillette.

BT DIRECTORSHIP

Sir Ewen Fergusson, who recently retired as British ambassador to France, will join the board of BT as a non-executive director on 24 May.

ANNUITY SHARES

Ivory & Sime plans to place the convertible annuity shares in its Isis investment trust at 147p each. The shares, aimed at institutional investors, will receive all dividends due from the trust's portfolio.

FOKKER STAKE

The European Commission has given its approval for Deutsche Aerospace, part of Daimler Benz, to take a 51 per cent stake in Fokker, the Dutch aircraft maker. The Dutch state will sell its 31.8 per cent stake in Fokker to Deutsche Aerospace, which will subscribe for an issue of 13.4 million new shares.

GERMAN UNREST SPREADS

Germany's biggest union will stage mass walk-outs across the country today to support striking eastern workers and press employers to pay a promised wage increase. The IG Metall union expects 100,000 workers to join demonstrations throughout western Germany.

TERROR INSURANCE

The Department of Trade and Industry published an explanatory summary of the Government's agreement on terrorism insurance with the insurance industry and Pool Re, a specially-created company. The Government and Pool Re are both entitled to terminate the arrangements on 120 days' notice from any 31 December.

CHANNEL RIGHTS

Channel Holdings, the security company, announced that 71.7 per cent of its pounds 2m rights issue had been taken up. Subscribers have since been found for the rest of the issue, underwritten by Wise Speke.

TAX ROW WARNING

(First Edition)

The European Commission has warned it could retaliate if the tax status of subsidiaries of foreign firms in the US is changed to include the earnings of their parent companies.

SMOKE ALARM

(First Edition)

Smokers should pay more for household insurance just as they do for life cover, accoeding to an insurer of thatched cottages. Almost one in 10 house fires is caused by smoking, according to CGA Direct, part of the Oriel Group.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Blue chips jumped late in the session after trading in a narrow range for most of the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 25.47 points up at 3,468.75.

TOKYO: Prices closed lower on futures-linked trading, but underlying sentiment remained bullish. The Nikkei average dipped 114.24 points to 20,940.37.

HONG KONG: The market soared after Britain and China reached belated agreement on this year's land sale programme for the colony. The Hang Seng index advanced 102.74 points to 6,841.97.

SYDNEY: Firmer gold issues and a rise in the futures market helped the All Ordinaries index to 1,687.4, a gain of 15.4 points.

PARIS: Another bad day for the CAC-40 index produced a fall of 22.69 points to 1,854.52.

FRANKFURT: Taking its lead from Wall Street, the DAX index added 7.12 points to 1,616.15.

ZURICH: The firm dollar was one of the plus factors as the Swiss Performance Index gained 7.7 to 1,364.41.

MILAN: Late bargain-hunting lifted prices off their lows in trading dominated by today's settlement of options contracts. The MIB ended 0.25 per cent easier at 1,174.

LONDON: Report, page 26.

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