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Buyer pushes for Docklands deal

A large British corporation is involved in a complex deal that could lead to it buying a 500,000 sq ft building in Canary Wharf in London's Docklands for pounds 98m, if the Government decides to relocate 2,500 civil servants to the building, 20 Cabot Square - a move that appears increasingly unlikely.

Banking sources said the group was one of Britain's top 100 companies. It has been suggested that a utility company could be involved.

Yesterday, the Government put off making a decision on the move for another week.

US business sales slump

US business sales slumped 1.2 per cent in August, the sharpest drop in eight months, while inventories rose 0.3 per cent, the sixth increase this year.

The Commerce Department said sales at the manufacturing, wholesale and retail level were a seasonally adjusted dollars 552.8bn ( pounds 329bn), down from dollars 559.7bn in July and the worst drop since December. Inventories climbed 0.3 per cent to dollars 838.1bn, the highest level in 18 months.

New SEC rules

The US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday voted through new rules that will make it easier for disillusioned shareholders to get their own representatives elected to company boards, and that will force companies to provide clearer data on executive pay and company performance. At present, if more than 10 shareholders band together, they must make costly proxy filings with the SEC.

Clark calls time

Today's extraordinary meeting of C&J Clark, the shoe company, is likely to be cut short by a resolution for adjournment until next year, giving the company more time to strike a compromise with dissident shareholders.

Aerospatiale cuts

Aerospatiale, the government- owned French group, plans to cut 1,150 jobs next year.

Airlines plunge

World airlines are likely to lose dollars 2.5bn in 1992, the third consecutive year of multi-billion dollar losses, delegates at an aviation conference said.

Treuhand in red

The Treuhandanstalt privatisation agency is expected to be DM250bn ( pounds 100bn) in debt by the end of 1994. Most of the deficit will stem from the negative net value of companies held by the Treuhand.

Insider charges

Federal prosecutors in the US have charged a former IBM executive, his son and a former law firm worker with insider trading on the 1989 takeover of Combustion Engineering.

World Markets

New York: Disappointment with IBM and Philip Morris pulled the Dow Jones average lower. By the close it was down 20.80 points at 3,174.68.

Tokyo: Late index-linked buying propelled the Nikkei index 284.6 higher at 17,628.49.

Hong Kong: A buying spree by US institutions left the Hang Seng index up 106.87 at 5,913.64.

Sydney: Poor metal prices contributed to a 14.7 slide in the All Ordinaries index to 1,439.

Johannesburg: Fears of an impending crack on Wall Street dragged the overall index down 63 to 2,926, a 22-month low.

Milan: Hopes of lower interest rates nudged the MIB index seven ahead at 806.

Zurich: The SWI index shed 11.3 to 1,878 in thin trading.

Frankfurt: The DAX index ended a roller-coaster session down 5.1 at 1,453.43.

Paris: Disappointment over unchanged German rates hammered the CAC index 17.91 lower at 1,650.02.

London: Report, page 25.