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The Independent Online
British Coal to cut 2,000 more

British Coal will shed almost 2,000 jobs over the next six months in the run-up to privatisation. After a week of meeting with unions, the company confirmed yesterday that 12,000 of its 14,000 employees are expected to keep their jobs when they transfer to the private sector.

In October 1992, when the Government announced wholesale pit closures, British Coal had a workforce of 50,000. Of the 14,000 remaining, about 2,000 are management and clerical staff at national and regional headquarters who will be made redundant.

Factory closes

Richards, the Aberdeen-based carpets group, is to close its printed carpet factory at Bangor, Northern Ireland, with the loss of 175 jobs. The company blamed severe pressure on margins caused by increased competition and the loss of a large government contract.

Hotel heat

The debate over hotel valuations was stirred yesterday after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors criticised recommendations from the British Association of Hotel Accountants on valuation methodology. Controversy about hotel values blew up last year after two firms of chartered surveyors came up with wildly differing valuations for the portfolio owned by the troubled hotelier Queens Moat Houses.

Ingham moves

Ingham, the York-based textile and classic car parts group, has appointed Alan Stephenson, a non-executive director, as chief executive in place of Nicholas Turner, who has resigned. The company said the board changes did not reflect any trading difficulty.

BA names

British Airways has appointed Ken Walder as company secretary and legal director. He joins from BP, where he was group legal adviser and later group general counsel.

Bankruptcies down

Company bankruptcies and liquidations in England and Wales fell to 10,610 in the second quarter of 1994 from 11,970 in the first, the accountants KPMG Peat Marwick said. Personal bankruptcies were also lower at 6,588 in the second quarter from 7,415 in the first.

Lower gear Japan's domestic motorcycle production fell 13.8 per cent from a year earlier to 230,980 in July, the 16th successive month of year-on-year declines.

World Markets

New York: Shares roared ahead following the better inflation news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 51.16 points higher, at 3,881.05.

Tokyo: The yen's retreat lifted the Nikkei 225 index 28.2 to 20,471.49 in quiet trading.

Sydney: Late bargain-hunting left the All Ordinaries index virtually unchanged at 2,077.2, up 0.6.

Hong Kong: A moderate rally in property shares nudged the Hang Seng index 71 higher at 9,407.

Johannesburg: A stronger financial rand and uncertainty over the direction of gold left the overall index 56 easier at 5,860.

Milan: Demand in the insurance sector on hopes of favourable pension reforms boosted the Mibtel index 107 to 11,004.

Zurich: The SMI index advanced 30.2 to 2,581.3.

Frankfurt: The Ibis DAX shot up 29.04 to 2,190.58 in late trading following a modest 9.33 point improvement during hours.

Paris: Stronger bonds and early strength in New York propelled the CAC-40 index 36.22 higher to2,062.74.

London: Report, page 13.