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The Independent Online
UNION PREDICTS TSB DISRUPTION

TSB customers face disruption to services today when employees start industrial action over the bank's plans to shed a further 1,000 jobs. Bifu, the banking union, said many branches would be closed while others would run a limited service.

GUILTY PLEA

Paul Mozer, the Salomon Brothers bond trader at the centre of a US Treasury auction scandal, pleaded guilty to two charges of lying to securities regulators and agreed to pay dollars 500,000 to cover damage claims.

ZUCKERMAN DEAL

The magazine publisher Mortimer Zuckerman finalised his dollars 36m purchase of the New York Daily News, his lawyer said. Mr Zuckerman will pay dollars 18.25m in cash, assume dollars 8.25m in liabilities and take on dollars 9m-dollars 10m in bills owed.

BA GROWTH HOPES

British Airways says it expects 23 per cent annual growth in its European services starting in the middle of the year.

FALL IN US JOBLESS

Jobless claims in the US fell 40,000 to a seasonally adjusted 291,000 for the week ended 26 December from a revised 331,000 the previous week - the lowest level of unemployment claims since April 1989.

AIRLINE GO-AHEAD

The US Department of Transportation approved the proposed dollars 450m investment by Air Canada and Air Partners in Continental Airlines.

5,000 POUNDS SIB AWARD

The Securities and Investments Board has been awarded pounds 5,000 costs by the Financial Services Tribunal after two former investment advisers failed to prove they were unjustly put out of business by the regulator.

TECHNOLOGY BOOST

Continued growth in public sector and information technology business contributed to the first upturn in work for 18 months reported in the latest quarterly survey by the Management Consultancies Association.

CELLTECH DEAL

Celltech, the biotechnology company, has agreed a deal with Schering-Plough that will see the US pharmaceutical group fund multi-million- pound testing of antibodies.

RENAULT DEAL

(First Edition)

The car makers Renault and Volvo have refused to comment on a report in Le Figaro that the French government was considering authorising Renault to bid for control of Volvo Car Corporation. Renault already owns 25 per cent.

ARCHITECTS GRIM

(First Edition)

Confidence among architects is at its lowest since 1991, with most expecting a grim year, according to the latest workload figures from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

DUAN IN CHINA

(First Edition)

Duan and Duan claims to have become the first independent commercial law firm in China by opening an office in Shanghai.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: A collapse in the bond market and a flurry of late program selling sent the Dow Jones Average diving 36.24 points to 3,268.96.

TOKYO: Celebratory buying on news of the Crown Prince's engagement soon fizzled out. The Nikkei average shed its gains to close 1.9 easier at 16,780.98.

HONG KONG: The market remained weak on rumours of a major placing by Citic Pacific. The Hang Seng index dipped 39.35 points to 5,547.32.

SYDNEY: Stocks again fell sharply, with the All Ordinaries index losing 11.2 points to 1,530.9.

BOMBAY: Heavy selling lowered the index 51.7 points to 2,395.8.

JOHANNESBURG: A strong run in leading gold shares lifted the index 54 points to 3,334.

FRANKFURT: The DAX lost 13.88 to 1,542.5 after an earnings downgrade for Daimler-Benz.

PARIS: The Bundesbank's interest rate decision drove the CAC-40 down 15.16 to 1,844.47.

MILAN: Shares ended a nervous session showing slight gains.

LONDON: Report, page 25.

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