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Warning over PIN incidents

Customers of automated teller machines in the London area have been warned not to key their personal identification numbers into any device which looks unfamilar and ressembles an ordinary calculator or personal organiser.

Banks and building societies have reminded customers that they do not need to use a PIN to gain access to an ATM lobby. The warnings follow an arrest after several incidents where customers were persuaded to give card details.

Trust in news

An investment trust specialising in companies that will benefit from the development of information infrastructure in emerging economies is to be launched on the London Stock exchange.

The Infostructure Trust plc is being launched by Societe Generale Strauss Turnbull Securities and BZW Investment Management. It will be denominated in sterling with an initial life of 10 years.

Training needed

The ageing and shrinking of Europe's workforce between now and 2020 will not necessarily cause production and competitive disadvantages, according to a study by the Ifo research institute. There will, however, be an increasing need to train workers to cope with technology and training should be part of all phases of careers.

First of its kind

China's first non-state commercial bank will start operations next year, providing a source of working capital for the country's cash-strapped private sector. The bank has almost completed its search for shareholders and is setting up a formal board It will initially be capitalised at two billion yuan ( pounds 152m), with non-state firms as the main shareholders.

Flights halted

Scandinavian Airlines System cancelled 70 European, Nordic and domestic flights out of Copenhagen yesterday as plane technicians started a strike in protest against new working hours. The stoppage did not affect inter-continental destinations or flights by other carriers.

Stronger rupee

India should soon begin making its rupee fully convertible in stages by lifting remaining controls on capital outflow after the country's foreign exchange reserves touch dollars 25bn. The growth in India's gold and foreign exchange reserves, just three years after an acute balance of payments crisis during which the country almost defaulted on debt repayments, has given the central bank the confidence to relax currency curbs.

Israel acts

The Israeli cabinet adopted a package of measures aimed at forcing down the high inflation rate. The steps are expected to reduce inflation from an annual 15 per cent to as low as 8 per cent next year.

Lottery winners

Retailers selected to participate in the National Lottery will receive an average commission of pounds 23,000 per outlet according to research by Verdict. It warned, however, that the good news for newsagents, who represent a third of the 10,000 outlets selected, would be offset by falling revenues from newspaper sales.

Ellis in India

Richard Ellis has become the first British property agent to set up an office in India. The launch this month of a New Delhi base will be followed later this year by offices in Bombay and Bangalore.

Work statistics

The majority of people in work are employed in organisations with fewer than 100 employees, according to figures commissioned by Vista Communications from the Department of Employment.

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