Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
London loses 33,000 small businesses

London has lost more than a quarter of its small businesses since 1990 - a total of 33,000 - a study by the London Enterprise Agency and the Association of London Authorities shows.

Worst hit was the financial services sector, where total employment fell from 771,000 three years ago to 699,000 at the end of 1992. The number of businesses with a turnover of less than pounds 100,000 fell by 15,000 in inner London and 18,000 in outer London.

Lloyd's wins verdict

Five Canadian banks failed in the Commercial Court to stop Lloyd's of London drawing down letters of credit bank customers had lodged as security when they became members. Lloyd's wanted to cash in the letters of credit to meet the members' liabilities.

Oil producers confer

Jean Ping, president of Opec, flies to Saudi Arabia today to canvass the views of Jeddah and Tehran before next week's emergency meeting to discuss the possible return of Iraqi exports. Brent oil for September delivery closed up 10 cents at dollars 16.77 after dipping to dollars 15.98 on Monday, a three-year low.

W German sales fall

Retail sales in western Germany fell 4.7 per cent in the first five months of 1993 and no recovery is in sight, the German retailers' association said. Excluding car, fuel and pharmaceutical sales, retail sales were down a real 1.5 per cent and up a nominal 0.5 per cent.

US housing flat

Housing starts in the US in June were unchanged from May, with construction of new homes and apartments reflecting a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.25 million - up 9.9 per cent on the same month last year.

Anglian Water taps in

Anglian Water will join forces with American Water Works to seek operation and maintenance contracts and possible acquisitions as municipal sewerage services move towards privatisation in the US. American Anglian Environmental Technologies will be capitalised at dollars 200,000 on a 50-50 basis.

Chrysler sales leap

Chrysler Europe's sales in the first half of this year soared 28.9 per cent to 28,881 vehicles. European sales in June were 5,545 vehicles, up 34.7 per cent on the same month last year.

250 jobs floated

About 250 jobs will be created by the sale and reopening of the deep- water freight terminal at Dartford on the River Thames to a new operator, London Thames Terminal.

Pounds 3.25bn gilts auction

The Government will auction pounds 3.25bn of 7 per cent Treasury stock, due 2001, on 28 July.

Frogmore splashes out

Frogmore Estates, the property developer, bought seven properties from Dwyer for pounds 12.27m.

Power blackout

(First Edition)

National Power said it had pulled out of a joint venture agreement to construct and operate two gas-fired power stations in Malaysia, announced last year and expected to cost dollars 20m-dollars 30m.

World Markets

New York: Shares recovered from a bad start triggered by Alan Greenspan's economic warning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9.50 points to close at 3,544.78.

Tokyo: Index-linked selling in a thin market beset by political uncertainty sent the Nikkei average 112.92 points lower to 20,038.

Hong Kong: Bargain-hunting took prices higher at the end of a see-saw day. The Hang Seng index, at 6,846.81, was 33.09 points better.

Sydney: Boosted by gains in futures prices, the All Ordinaries index added 9.9 points to 1,806.1.

Bombay: A lacklustre session curtailed due to late-running trains lifted the index 8.96 to 2,107.23.

Johannesburg: Shares ended around their lows across the board, with gold's overnight slump setting the tone. The overall index gave up 34 points to 4,055.

Paris: With a sliding franc reinforcing pessimism on interest rates, the CAC-40 index recorded a 13.26-point fall to 1,968.44.

Frankfurt: Despite a late tumble in Volkswagen, the DAX closed at a year's high of 1,838.99, up 2.7.

Milan: The market followed Fiat and Generali sharply upward, raising the MIB 15 points to 1,238.

London: Report, page 26.

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