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Control Securities wins reprieve

Control Securities, the leisure group whose shares were suspended at 16p two years ago after the collapse of Bank of Credit and Commerce International, said it had secured a year's reprieve from its banks. It hopes for a similar lifeline from its bondholders on condition it cuts its near-pounds 150m debt by the sale of assets.

A relisting is planned but a complex capital restructuring will dilute existing shareholders' equity, the company said.

Sony plunges

Sony, the Japanese consumer electronics giant, said group net profits plunged 70 per cent in the year to March because of weak demand in Japan and Europe and the yen's surge. At its rival Matsushita profits fell 71 per cent. Sony's consolidated profit sank to Y36.26bn (pounds 213m). Matsushita made net profits of Y38.4bn.

Maserati overtaken

Fiat, the Italian car maker, has taken over Maserati, giving it control of two of Italy's three luxury car makers. Fiat said it had no designs on the third firm, Lamborghini. Fiat, which already owned 49 per cent of Maserati, bought the rest from Maserati's founders, the De Tomaso family, for L75bn ( pounds 34m). Fiat already owns Ferrari and also controls Alfa Romeo and Lancia.

Ban on ex-Drexel chief

Fred Joseph, the former chief executive of Drexel Burnham Lambert, settled charges of failing to supervise Michael Milken, the Drexel junk-bond trader whose actions led to the collapse of the firm in 1990. Mr Joseph, while neither admitting nor denying the charges, agreed to a three-year ban on running a securities firm in the US.

US jobless up

US jobless claims rose by 7,000 in the week ended 15 May to a seasonally adjusted 344,000, the Labor Department said. The previous week's total was revised down from 339,000 to 337,000.

Beck's payoff

Clive Beck, a former director of John Mowlem, the loss-making construction group, got a pounds 395,000 compensation payment in 1992, according to the company's annual accounts. Mr Beck's contract had two years left to run.

House visits

The Housebuilders Federation said yesterday that housebuilders had seen a fourth successive monthly rise in site visits and net reservations in April and that house prices had stabilised.

Platinum cuts

Western Platinum, 73 per cent owned by Lonrho, said it had axed 1,500 jobs following the closure a month ago of a mine shaft in response to tumbling rhodium prices and weak platinum.

O&Y objection

The administrator of the parent company of Olympia & York Developments says he opposes a plan by creditors of its US arm to name a trustee to oversee its restructuring.

DLJ offering

(First Edition)

Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette, one of Wall Street's second-tier investment banks, could soon come to market in a public offering, its owner, America's Equitable insurance company, said. Equitable is considering selling half of DLJ to the public, allowing the parent to report a higher value for the subsidiary in its balance sheet. The sale would raise about dollars 500m.

World Markets

New York: Shares overcame early nervousness and pushed to a record for the second day running. The Dow Jones average closed 15.73 points up at 3,515.76.

Tokyo: The Nikkei average eased 50.4 points to 20,330.39 in quiet, technically driven trading.

Hong Kong: After a fall of more than 40 points during the morning, selective buying of blue chips carried the Hang Seng index to a 25.08-point gain at 7,118.96.

Sydney: A late bout of selling eroded most early gains, leaving the All Ordinaries index just 1.6 points to the good at 1,684.2.

Bombay: More than half of the exchange's 4,000 employees have begun a four-day strike over a pay claim. The bourse has been closed for the past two days for settlement and other paperwork.

Milan: Expectations of an imminent cut in the discount rate continued to buoy the market. The MIB added 0.24 per cent to 1,236.

Warsaw: Prices shot up more than 9 per cent under extreme buying pressure. The WIG index ended at 3,002.9, a gain of 254.1 points.

London: Report, page 30.