Business and City in Brief

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Broker charged with 6.6m pounds Salomon theft

An investment broker has been charged with stealing more than pounds 6m from Salomon Brothers in the City of London.

Alexander Darlow, 27, of Upper Belvedere, Kent, is accused of taking the money on or before May this year. He will appear at Horseferry Road Magistrates Court, London, next month, charged with the theft of pounds 6.6m.

Dixons mail order sale

Dixons has recouped some of the pounds 8.5m it paid in February for PC World, the computer superstore business, with the sale of most of the mail order and direct mail businesses. The price of the deal was not disclosed. Dixons will concentrate on expanding the retail operation.

Ford denies closures

Ford Motor of the US denied reports it was planning to close plants in Australia, where it employs 8,000 and controls 20 per cent of the car and truck market, and transfer production of Jaguar cars from the UK to the US.

Halifax deal

Halifax Building Society is launching a share-dealing service in conjunction with ShareLink, the no- frills stockbroker service that is about to come to the stock market. Money, page 20

Investor confidence up

An index of investor confidence compiled by Gallup for Pearl, the insurance company, has increased 0.8 points to 90 points over the last month. The rise in confidence was greatest among people aged 25 to 34. The index fell between May and June.

French uncertainty

French industrial production was stable overall in June, but business leaders remain uncertain about the short-term outlook and no improvement is expected in the coming months, the Bank of France says in its monthly business survey.

EC paper tigers

France called on the European Commission to introduce measures to protect the EC paper industry from cheap Finnish and Swedish imports following the devaluations of their currencies.

TV bid under scrutiny

Australia's broadcasting industry watchdog is investigating plans by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp to buy 15 per cent of Seven Network, which is being floated after the failure of Quintex, its former owner.

Fed Bank chief named

William McDonough will succeed E Gerald Corrigan as president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank on Monday. Mr McDonough, 59, has been executive vice- president of the New York Fed's financial markets group.

O&Y rescue approved

A US bankruptcy judge has approved a plan paving the way for an independent nine-member board to control the US arm of Olympia and York and attempt to restructure its dollars 5.3bn debt.

World Markets

New York: Weakness in high-technology shares and futures and options-linked trading left the Dow Jones average down 22.64 points at 3,528.29 by the close.

Tokyo: Late index-linked and corporate buying lifted the market after a quiet start ahead of tomorrow's general election. The Nikkei average added 173.51 to 20,331.53.

Hong Kong: Ending the second week of its downturn still depressed, the Hang Seng dropped another 53.32 points to 6,925.22.

Sydney: In a nervous market with modest turnover, the All Ordinaries slipped 6.1 points to 1,799.8.

Johannesburg: Gold shares recorded mild gains and industrials were marginally firmer, but the overall index eased a point to 4,112.

Frankfurt: A late technical surge in anticipation of today's expiry of options took the DAX index 5.8 points higher to 1,813.46.

Paris: Strong gains in bond futures helped the CAC-40 index to 1,974.93, an 11.85-point advance.

Zurich: The Swiss Performance Index lost 2.22 points to 1,511.21.

Milan: Sentiment was lifted by the addition of 40 stocks, including Fiat, to the screen-traded system. The MIB rose three points to 1,225.

London: Report, page 19.