Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
SLUMP IN EXPORTS LIFTS US DEFICIT

A slump in exports boosted the US trade deficit in November by 5.1 per cent to dollars 7.59bn from a revised dollars 7.2bn in October, the Commerce Department said.

Exports were down 2.8 per cent to dollars 37.97bn, while imports fell 1.6 per cent from October levels to dollars 45.56bn. The deficit in trade with Japan narrowed to dollars 4.69bn from dollars 4.96bn.

CABLE BOOM

Cable television companies had sold about 130,000 telephone lines by the end of last year compared with 20,000 a year earlier. The companies, which undercut BT by up to 20 per cent on call charges, say at least 300,000 lines will be in place by the end of 1993.

SAVINGS OUTFLOW

National Savings saw a net outflow of pounds 65m in December. Investment is usually depressed in the run-up to Christmas, but there was also a shortage of products as the chief fixed-rate offers were off the market at the beginning of the month.

dollars 5bn FOR BOEING

United Parcel Service ordered 30 Boeing 767 jetliners and took options on 30 more, the largest all-cargo order received by Boeing and potentially worth dollars 5bn.

DIRECTOR ARRESTED

Umberto di Capua, managing director of Asea Brown Boveri's Italian subsidiary, was arrested on charges connected with alleged bribes paid for contracts for the Milan underground system.

KIO LOSSES SOAR

Losses at Grupo Torras, the Spanish holding company of the Kuwait Investment Office, and its subsidiaries could run as high as dollars 9bn.

600 JOBS SHED

More than 600 jobs were lost at three companies. Receivers at Eden Construction in Carlisle, Cumbria, made 350 workers redundant; Cavaghan and Gray, a food company based in Carlisle, paid off 57; and GPT, the telecommunications firm based in Beeston, Notts, said it had cut 200 jobs.

OUTPUT SLOWS

German construction industry output is expected to grow between 2 and 3 per cent in 1993 after an 8.6 per cent rise last year.

DAN-AIR DELAY

The European Commission is still investigating British Airways' takeover of Dan-Air despite the expiry of the deadline. A verdict is expected before the end of the month.

BROKER BOWS OUT

Solomons, the Dublin-based stockbroker, stopped trading on the London Stock Exchange at the close of business yesterday.

SCHRODER LAUNCH

(First Edition)

Schroder Investment Management hopes to raise at least pounds 50m through the launch of a split capital investment trust. The offer opens on 10 February.

WORLD MARKETS

New York: In subdued trading shares moved up, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average 3.24 points higher at 3,271.12 by the close.

Tokyo: Closed (holiday).

Hong Kong: Another hardline statement from China ended the four-day rally. The Hang Seng slipped 18.36 to 5,871.8.

Sydney: Closing a volatile week in buoyant mood, the All Ordinaries gained 17 to 1,524.5.

Bombay: Ignoring the continuing trouble in parts of the city, the index closed 65.87 points to the good at 2,525.54.

Johannesburg: Prices were little changed in active trade but maintained a firm undertone.

Paris: A strong surge clawed back half the week's losses. The CAC-40 rose 23.54 to 1,827.08.

Frankfurt: Reversing the past week's downward trend, the DAX added 20.81 to 1,544.55.

Zurich: Short-covering ahead of contracts expiry lifted the index 3.3 points to 2,101.

Milan: Foreign buying helped the MIB to 1,057, a gain of 23.

London: Report, page 19.

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