Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online

Production of cars for export plunged 20 per cent in October as Continental markets fell deeper into recession.

According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, only 55,000 cars were manufactured for export at UK factories last month against more than 69,000 a year earlier.

However, there was a 27 per cent increase in production for the home market. Overall output for the month was just 1 per cent down on October 1992 at 116,426.


The modest US recovery could be transformed into a more significant expansion next year if inflation eases and a relatively low-cost healthcare system is introduced, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said yesterday. The recovery in growth was expected to stay in the 3 per cent range but might expand at an annual rate of 4.5-5.5 per cent. The OECD expects the US Federal Reserve to tighten credit slightly to calm bond markets.


LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is to sell its RoC unit to Johnson & Johnson for an undisclosed sum, estimated to be more than Fr1bn ( pounds 117m).


Renault's pre-tax profits in the nine months to end September fell to Fr1.032bn from Fr7.51bn a year earlier. Sales fell 8.3 per cent. Third-quarter sales fell to Fr37.1bn from Fr40.3bn. The company said the European car and industrial vehicle market would show no signs of recovery before the end of 1993.


Volvo said that despite weak markets in Europe, the sales trend for its cars and trucks appeared to be improving. In the first nine months of 1993, sales of cars, trucks and marine and aircraft engines rose 25 per cent to SKr73.53bn ( pounds 6bn).


The offer for sale of DFS Furniture was 1.3 times subscribed. A total of 16,331 applications for 23.14 million shares were received for the 17.506 million shares on public offer at pounds 2.60 a share. Allocations will be scaled down. A further 32.51 million shares were sold under a separate placing with institutional and other investors.


Sony Corporation's pre-tax profit in the six months to September rose to Y56.6bn ( pounds 358m) from Y42.2bn. For the year to March, the company forecast a pre-tax profit of Y87bn.


China's finance minister said big tax changes would be launched next year to create fairer competition between firms and increase the ability of the central government to regulate the economy.


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Shares in Nissan Motor Iberica were suspended at the company's request, the National Securities Market Commission said


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Daimler-Benz will cut a total of 51,000 jobs fron its workforce by the end of 1994, up from 44,000 announced earlier, with most of the extra jobs being lost from the troubled Deutsche Aerospace unit, the company said.


NEW YORK: Profit-taking cancelled out the effect of good economic news. Steadying after steep morning declines, the Dow Jones average was 19.01 down at 3,685.34 by the close.

TOKYO: Prices came off their highs to end with the Nikkei average 57.61 better at 18,166.32.

HONG KONG: Posting a heavy loss for the second day running, the Hang Seng index gave up 171.55 points (1.8 per cent) to 9,335.43.

SYDNEY: Profit-taking in the banking sector trimmed gains, leaving the All Ordinaries index 3.7 points higher at 2,108.

BOMBAY: Hectic buying by foreign institutions lifted the index 54.69 points to 2,932.31.

JOHANNESBURG: Industrials resumed their charge and, with gold staging a late rally, the overall index rose 41 points to 4,205.

PARIS: The CAC-40 lost most of its gains as hopes of a German interest rate cut were dashed, ending just 1.68 up at 2,149.67.

FRANKFURT: Profit-taking reduced gains, but the DAX index ended 13.62 points ahead at 2,099.45.

LONDON: Report, page 32.