Business and City in Brief

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Government's first issue of ecu notes since the pound left the exchange rate mechanism was yesterday nearly five times subscribed, with bids of 2.483bn ecu for the 500m ecu of three-year notes.

The issue was sold at a slightly higher price than a similar French note last week. In contrast to the cool reception to the pounds 2.5bn gilt auction a week ago, the spread between highest and lowest prices was tiny, indicating strong competition to buy.


Philips, the Dutch electronics group, is to move its manufacturing of television cathodes to Blackburn, Lancashire. At present the Blackburn site accounts for 60 per cent of cathode production with the rest made at Sittard in the Netherlands.

GM dollars 21bn CHARGE

General Motors will take a dollars 21bn accounting charge against its 1992 results to cover projected employee healthcare costs, reducing shareholders' equity in the world's largest car maker by more than two-thirds.

GM said it planned to comply with new US accounting rules by writing off its entire retirement benefit liability at once. Compounded by other charges and by huge operating losses in 1992, GM's net loss for the year is now expected to be more than dollars 23.5bn, eclipsing the dollars 4.97bn record loss announced last month by IBM.


The London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange is to list a Spanish government bond futures contract from 10 March. The Spanish government bond market is the most volatile of the main bond markets, Liffe says, and in terms of nominal value of outstanding debt it ranks in the 10 largest government bond markets.


Germany's public service sector is expected either to agree a pay deal in third round wage talks or declare the talks, which resume today, have failed. Unions have called on public employers to raise the 2.25 per cent pay offer they made in the first round of talks. The second round made little progress.


German monetary reserves rose DM100m ( pounds 42m) to DM141.1bn in the week to 15 January, the Bundesbank said. The central bank said its foreign liabilities in the week rose DM100m to DM26.7bn. The Bundesbank no longer provides its net currency reserves but, based on the data available, net reserves increased about DM100m to around DM114.4bn in the period.


Fimbra, the investment regulator, has suspended the investment business of JMI Advisory Services of Chiddingstone Street, London SW6.


Jaguar, the luxery car maker, unveiled its redesigned XJ12 model at the Amsterdam motor show yesterday, saying the new version was more powerful, more economical and more refined than its aging predecessor. Jaguar, a subsidiary of Ford of the US, stopped making the old series in December after a 20-year production run of 52,210.


NEW YORK: Drug shares led the market lower, and by the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 3.51 points at 3,328.67.

TOKYO: Retreating from early highs, the Nikkei average finished 52.67 better at 17,186.31.

HONG KONG: Cautious trade took the Hang Seng index 35.25 points lower to 5,662.53.

SYDNEY: Improved balance of payments figures had little effect. The All Ordinaries index edged up 1.1 points to 1,530.2.

JOHANNESBURG: Share prices closed steady at their higher levels, with the overall index 19 points ahead at 3,452.

PARIS: Most early gains were not held. The CAC-40 index added 1.41 points to 1,787.31.

FRANKFURT: Narrow-range trading ended with the DAX index just 2.07 easier at 1,583.09.

MILAN: Good foreign buying helped the MIB to close at 1,085, a gain of 0.84 per cent.

AMSTERDAM: The suspension of DAF did not help sentiment. The index lost 0.48 to 293.98.

LONDON: Report, page 23.