Business and City Summary

Bristol-Myers to shed 5,000 jobs

Bristol-Myers Squibb will shed 5,000 of 51,000 employees worldwide - including 3,000 in its pharmaceuticals division - in an dollars 890m restructuring to improve competitiveness over the next two years.

The four-region structure of the group's European operation will be reorganised into 11 regional business units, eliminating a level of management. About a third of the employees to lose their jobs had agreed to early retirement this year.

US phone plan

The transatlantic long-distance telecoms partner of BT, MCI, plans to spend dollars 2bn to establish alternative local telephone service in large US cities, bypassing the monopolies controlled by the regional American telecoms utilities. The plan represents the first direct assault on the core business of the seven Baby Bells, bringing competition to their most lucrative business, local telephone service.

Molins setback

The specialised engineering group Molins said it lost another round in a seven-year patent battle in the US but planned to fight on with an appeal. Molins and its co-plaintiff John Smith said the Delaware district court had formally entered judgment against them in their claim to have a patent on flexible manufacturing systems used in computer control of several machine tools.

Savings plan

The French computer group Cie des Machines Bull, which is seeking a Fr8.5bn cash injection from its main shareholders, is looking for another Fr3bn in cost savings in 1994, the business daily Les Echos said. About Fr2bn of the cost-cutting would come from non-salary costs.

Jobs forecast

British business could create 375,000 new jobs if it matched the rate of new company formation in the US, according to a study by NatWest.

Edinburgh venture

Edinburgh Fund Managers has become the latest Scottish investment house to establish a North American operation to seek business from US pension funds. Edinburgh already manages dollars 200m for American clients. The venture is based in Atlanta.

Gone away

Richmond Oil and Gas, the oil exploration group that sold its main asset last month, said Robert Fox, chairman and chief executive, resigned from the board on 29 December.

World Markets

New York: With traders encouraged by falling long-term interest rates, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 27.30 points at 3,783.90.

Tokyo: Political uncertainty and worries over banks' bad debts kept trade thin. The Nikkei average eased 47.5 to 17,369.74.

Hong Kong: Record turnover lifted the Hang Seng index another 114.6 points to 12,201.09.

Sydney: With support from overseas and domestic investors, the All Ordinaries erased early losses to close 0.7 up at 2,174.3.

Bombay: The index finished 14.06 points better at 3,479.92.

Johannesburg: Rampaging bulls drove gold stocks up 8.2 per cent to give the overall index a record of 5,088, a gain of 179 points.

Paris: Profit-taking after Monday's record high lowered the CAC-40 index 16.22 to 2,274.34.

Frankfurt: Thin but volatile trade left the DAX index 14.4 points weaker at 2,253.58.

Zurich: Another record close saw the Swiss Performance Index 4.47 points ahead at 1,894.08.

London: Report, page 26.

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