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The Independent Online
US MINING GIANTS TO MERGE INTERESTS

Two of America's largest mining companies are to merge, creating a dollars 5bn conglomerate with interests in copper, coal and gold. The combined Amax and Cyprus Minerals, which would have had turnover of dollars 2.8bn last year, should save more than dollars 100m in costs.

Cyprus-Amax will retain about 40 per cent of Amax Gold, which produces 250,000 ounces a year at mines in the US, Chile and New Zealand, and will assume control of Cyprus's operations in Australia and Panama. Cyprus is already the second-largest US copper producer, mining 660 million pounds a year in Arizona, and also produces lithium and iron ore.

OUTPUT SPEEDS UP

Britain's national output grew a faster-than-estimated 0.3 per cent in the first quarter, or 0.7 per cent excluding North Sea oil and gas production. First-quarter gross domestic product was originally estimated to have expanded by 0.2 per cent, or 0.6 per cent excluding the North Sea.

TELECOMS LICENCE

Energis, owned by the National Grid Company, has been awarded a licence to offer telecommunications services throughout the UK. The company intends to begin operation in April 1994.

BT RIVALS

AT&T has joined forces with KDD of Japan and Singapore Telecom in a global communications venture to service multinational companies. The alliance, called WorldSource, will compete directly with BT's Syncordia project.

WILLIAMS DEPARTURE

Brian McGowan is resigning from Williams Holdings, the industrial group he founded in 1982 with Nigel Rudd. Mr McGowan, who will be replaced as chief executive by Roger Carr, group managing director, will retain his 766,000 shares in the group, worth about pounds 2.5m,'for the foreseeable future'.

Bottom Line, page 29

PHONELINK PLACING

PhoneLink becomes the latest technology stock to join the market when shares begin trading on the USM next Tuesday. An institutional placing of shares at 155p values the company, which is developing database access systems, at pounds 55m. Profits in the year to March were just pounds 31,000.

FEWER CARS

German motor vehicle production fell 26 per cent to 352,700 in April from 477,986 a year earlier. Total motor vehicle exports dropped 25 per cent to 185,400 in April, from 246,711 in April 1992. In the first four months of the year motor vehicle output declined 25 per cent to 1.4 million from 1.89 million a year earlier.

M3 GROWTH WORRY

Otmar Issing, the Bundesbank's chief economist, said yesterday that the strong 7.3 per cent annualised growth of M3 in April was not just a statistical aberration and was giving cause for concern.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Special situation stocks attracted most attention. The Dow Jones Industrial average had achieved a 8.85-point gain to 3,516.63 by the close.

TOKYO: Helped by index-linked buying, the Nikkei average added 155.6 points to 20,631.76.

HONG KONG: News that the US is to renew China's 'most favoured nation' status powered the Hang Seng index to another strong advance - 91.79 points to 7,368.18.

SYDNEY: A turnround in futures prices was the main factor in an 11.9-point gain by the All Ordinaries index to 1,697.4.

NAIROBI: Financial stocks were actively traded, pushing the index up 6.38 points to 1,365.62.

PARIS: Government plans to boost the economy, coupled with base rate cuts, lifted the CAC-40 index 29.72 points to 1,891.09.

FRANKFURT: Shares closed firmer in thin trade on short-covering and higher bond prices. The DAX index was 15.09 points up at 1,618.18.

ZURICH: With buying activity focused on selected blue chips, the Swiss Performance Index added 5.52 points to 1,396.61.

MILAN: Low-volume trading left the MIB 0.33 points better at 1,234.

LONDON: Report, page 29.

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