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NatWest Bancorp hits a record

NatWest Bancorp, the once-ailing US subsidiary of National Westminster Bank, reported record second-quarter net income of dollars 70m (pounds 46.6m), double the dollars 36m made a year earlier.

The bank had stacked up losses of dollars 900m between 1989 and 1991 from its exposure to the depressed East Coast property market.

Strong Time

Time Warner reported strong underlying profit growth during its second quarter, with record performances from its music, film and cable businesses. Earnings rose by 10 per cent to dollars 673m but there was an overall net loss of dollars 80m because of the group's need to service its huge debts.

Swan redundancies

The four directors who led Swan Hunter into the private sector will be among 143 staff being made redundant today by the receivers of the Tyneside shipyard.

Unequal treatment

Employers who treat men and women unequally in order to eliminate differences in state pension treatment are acting legally, according to a judgment from the Advocate General of the European Court.

Drug cleared

Zeneca's anti-oestrogen agent, Nolvadex, has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in treating men with advanced breast cancer.

Frothy beer

Shares in Tsingtao Brewery, the first Chinese-incorporated company to be listed outside the People's Republic, traded in Hong Kong at HKdollars 3.55, 75 cents above its heavily subscribed offer price.

Death for shoddiness

China's first consumer protection law will make the death penalty a possible sentence for anyone caught making or selling shoddy or fake goods.

Gatt deputies

Peter Sutherland, the new chief of Gatt, has appointed three deputies. They are Warren Lavorel, a former US assistant trade representative, Jesus Seade, Mexico's ambassador to Gatt, and Anwarul Hoda, special secretary for trade policy at India's Ministry of Commerce.

Agency for sale

Yorkshire Building Society has put its loss-making estate agency chain on the market. Built up at a cost of pounds 2m starting in 1988, the 31-branch network lost pounds 9m over five years.

Advisers suspended

Fimbra has suspended Kaye Dee Insurance and Mortgage Consultants of London SE5 and Teeling Financial Services of Chelmsford in Essex. It has also terminated the membership of Clifford Briggs of Poole in Dorset.

MAM scheme

Mercury Asset Management has launched a service for money purchase pension schemes - where pensions vary with investment performance rather than final salary - incorporating a guarantee limiting losses when shares fall.

World Markets

New York: Blue chips extended the week's rally on news that inflation was under control in June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 8.38 points higher at 3,550.93.

Tokyo: Late futures-related selling almost wiped out earlier gains in thin trade, leaving the Nikkei average 18.91 points firmer at 20,158.02.

Hong Kong: Keen interest in Tsingtao Brewery, the first mainland Chinese company listed in the colony, helped the Hang Seng to 6,978.54, a 23.04-point gain.

Sydney: Demand for selected industrial issues compensated for softer gold shares. The All Ordinaries index edged up 1.4 to 1,805.9.

Johannesburg: Gold shares finished sharply down but off the day's lowest levels. The overall index shed 21 points to 4,113.

Paris: Concern over interest rates pushed the CAC-40 index down 28.07 points to 1,963.08.

Frankfurt: Profit-taking after recent gains lowered the DAX index 3.89 points to 1,807.66.

Milan: Gains by insurers offset Ferruzzi's continuing losses as the MIB added 0.16 per cent to 1,222.

London: Report, page 24.