Business and City Summary
Monday 03 October 1994
Bovis and Costain, the construction groups, have formed a joint venture to bid for the Department of Transport's private-sector road initiatives. The new company, National Road Operators, has also forged alliances with the RAC, the Granada Group and Centre-file, a subsidiary of the National Westminster Bank.
Hang Seng tops for profitability
Hang Seng Bank, 60 per cent owned by HSBC, the parent of Midland Bank, is the most profitable in the world, according to the annual rankings of IBCA, the UK credit rating agency. The Hong Kong bank pushed Banco Popular of Spain, last year's winner, into second place.
HSBC as a group came 29th in the rankings which cover the 300 largest banks. In terms of actual profits, HSBC was the world's top bank, making dollars 3bn. At the other end, Credit Lyonnais of France and Banesto of Spain made the largest net losses, of dollars 1bn and dollars 4bn respectively.
This year is on track to be a record one for flotations, according to KPMG Peat Marwick, the accountants. So far, 182 companies have come to market in 1994 and KMPG says activity in the last quarter should see new listings exceed the 1986 total of 203.
Consumer demand has turned down in the second half of this year as shoppers absorb the impact of higher tax and interest rates, according to Verdict Research. Retailing 1998, its annual five-year forecast of retail activity, predicts disappointing sales in the coming Christmas season and no pick-up in consumer demand until next summer.
Shell's Smart move
Shell, Britain's second-largest petrol retailer, is launching a Smart card for its giveaway scheme for motorists. Points collected on the card can be exchanged for gifts or for Air Miles but not petrol.
Chantiers de l'Atlantique, the French shipyard which is part of the GEC Alsthom group, has won a provisional order for two 1,000-cabin luxury cruiseliners from Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but French shipping sources said it could be worth up to dollars 600m.
Pension top-up claim
The Banking, Insurance and Finance Union is to ask Barclays to top up the pensions of part- time women staff employed as far back as 1976. It will be one of the first claims emerging from a European Court ruling last week on part-time women workers.
Sometimes on Sunday
John Lewis, one of the fiercest opponents of Sunday trading, has bowed to commercial pressure and is to open two of its department stores on the two Sundays before Christmas.
A spokesman for John Lewis described the decision to open in High Wycombe and Brent Cross, north London, as 'an experiment' and said there were no plans to extend it to its other 20 stores or to other times of the year.
Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
LAPD releases haunting crime scene photos from its archives
Peaches Geldof funeral: Bob Geldof leads tributes at emotional service in same church she married husband Thomas Cohen and mother Paula Yates was buried
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge photographed with Prince George off-duty may spark privacy row
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Concerns grow among search officials that missing jet ‘may have landed somewhere else’
Ukip election posters: Nigel Farage defends 'racist' campaign anti-immigration campaign ahead of Europe elections
Is Britain really a land of God? Furious debate after David Cameron claims we are a Christian country
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
David Cameron's constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden
Ukip leader Nigel Farage defends employing German wife, at launch of anti-immigration poster campaign
- 1 Revealed: Scientists ‘edit’ DNA to correct adult genes and cure diseases
- 2 David Cameron's constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Women take on Bear Grylls over 'sexist' male-only desert island show
- 5 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Concerns grow among search officials that missing jet ‘may have landed somewhere else’
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