Business and City Summary

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The Independent Online
Barclays to shed 1,000 London jobs

Barclays will shed 1,000 London jobs over four years when it streamlines and relocates its London cheque-clearing operation.

A net 450 jobs will be lost, with the move to Northampton creating 550 new positions. Some London staff will be relocated, and the bank expects few compulsory redundancies.

pounds 1bn power deal

National Power signed a five- year deal worth pounds 1bn to supply Eastern Electricity with coal- fired power. The deal depends on National Power signing parallel five-year deals with British Coal and other coal firms.

GM lawsuit fears

Shares of General Motors tumbled after a jury in Atlanta ordered the car maker to pay dollars 4.24m to the family of a teenager killed in a collision in 1989, and dollars 101m in punitive damages. Analysts said the verdict could open GM to hundreds of other lawsuits involving the 1973-1987 model GMC and Chevrolet pick-up trucks with fuel tanks outside the body frame.

Vodafone licence

A consortium including Vodafone has won the licence to build and operate Germany's third cellular network.

Drug alliance

Procordia, the Swedish food and drugs group, has proposed an alliance between its subsidiary Kabi, with turnover of dollars 1.73bn, and Montedison, the Italian chemicals company.

Option exercised

Hongkong Land exercised its option to acquire 36 million shares in Trafalgar House, lifting its stake to 20.1 per cent.

KLM cuts costs

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines plans to cut investment spending by dollars 198m after announcing a dollars 234m loss in the third quarter from dollars 4.6m a year earlier.

Back in black Hongkong Bank of Australia, part of HSBC Holdings, returned to the black last year for the first time in four years with a net profit of Adollars 8m ( pounds 3.8m) compared with a loss of Adollars 38m in 1991.

Globex changes

Globex, the after-hours electronic futures trading system, will add afternoon trading hours from 4 March to coincide with the expected start of trading on Globex terminals in member firm offices in Tokyo.

Kwik spread

Kwik Save, the discount grocer, set its sights on the Scottish market with plans to open up to 100 stores over the next few years. The news knocked 30p off the shares of its competitor Shoprite, to 753p. Kwik Save was unchanged at 799p.

World Markets

New York: Frenzied buying after overseas interest rate cuts catapulted the Dow Jones average to a record 3,416.74 at the close, up 42.95 points.

Tokyo: Arbitrage-linked selling pulled the Nikkei average down 31.4 points to 17,190.63.

Hong Kong: A record land sale buoyed the market, with financial and property stocks leading the way to a 67.21 gain by the Hang Seng index to 5,778.01.

Sydney: With Americans buying and British investors selling, the All Ordinaries index firmed 1.3 points to 1,531.4.

Johannesburg: The market continued to bask in the strength of De Beers. The index added 21 points to 3,478.

Paris: The Bundesbank's long- awaited rate cut propelled the market 1.66 per cent higher, with the CAC-40 index 30.34 points better at 1,854.38.

Frankfurt: Failing to hold early gains, the DAX index ended just 0.08 to the good at 1,601.61.

Milan: A late rally lifted the MIB 1.48 per cent to 1,100.

London: Report, page 25.