Business and City Summary

MCC assets sales given green light

Maxwell Communication Corporation creditors have approved by more than 99 per cent by number and value a UK scheme of arrangement and a US Chapter 11 reorganisation plan, according to Price Waterhouse, the administrator.

The sale of assets can now go ahead, including the Official Airlines Guide to Reed Elsevier, the publishers, for dollars 425m. Creditors' claims are put at between dollars 3.2bn and dollars 3.6bn. Asset sales are expected to realise more than dollars 1bn, with the the first payouts to creditors in November.

First for Mercury

Mercury said Europe's first air-to- ground telephone service based on digital technology was scheduled to begin by the end of the year. Mercury has taken a stake in In- Flight Phone International Europe, a joint venture with a US firm, and will spend pounds 10m building 60 base stations around Europe to receive the calls and route them through existing national networks.

Krupp-Lonrho talks

Fried. Krupp Hoesch-Krupp, the German steel group, is negotiating to buy back Lonrho's 50 per cent stake in the Krupp-Lonrho trading company, which had sales of DM2bn in 1992 and employs 2,300. In London, Lonrho said James Capel would join Societe Generale Strauss Turnbull as joint broker.

Aer Lingus rescue

The Irish cabinet approved an Aer Lingus rescue plan that will see the airline shed 1,530 jobs in a drive to reduce costs by Ir pounds 50m ( pounds 47.6m) a year. The government will make a one-off Ir pounds 175m injection of new equity to restore profitability.

More Germans jobless

The number out of work in Germany reached 3.3 million in June, with the jobless rate in western Germany up from 6.9 per cent in May to 7 per cent and eastern Germany unchanged at 14.4 per cent.

BT3 registrations

British Telecommunications had 5.2 million registrations for its BT3 public share offer by the closing date on 2 July. About 2 million were with share shops while 1.4 million were new registrations.

Coffee price soars

Coffee prices rocketed to dollars 1,000 a tonne in London, up dollars 47 on the previous close and an 18-week high, as traders reacted to a plan by Latin American producers to withhold supplies from world markets.

Moran discharged

Mr Justice Harman discharged the administration order over Moran Holdings, the tea to property group, paving the way for a re-listing of the shares - the first time a listed firm has come out of administration without a voluntary arrangement.

Aerospatiale purge

Aerospatiale, the French state- owned aircraft and defence group, is expected to shed 2,250 jobs next year because of dwindling orders.

World Markets

New York: A jump in the Commodity Research Bureau index, an inflation measure, hammered blue chips. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 34.04 at 3,449.93.

Tokyo: Continued slack trading ahead of the G7 meeting lifted the Nikkei average 206.72 to 19,828.78.

Hong Kong: With turnover the lowest since mid-April, the Hang Seng index fell 36.07 to 7,168.34.

Sydney: Late buying support took prices off their lows, leaving the All Ordinaries 1.7 easier at 1,764.2.

Johannesburg: The gold rally tapered off near the close but left the sector 3.6 per cent higher. The overall index gained 36 to 4,210.

Paris: Shares reversed their five- day losing trend, the CAC-40 index closing at 1,935.12, up 9.68 points.

Frankfurt: Indications of lower inflation helped the DAX index back over the 1,700 mark, ending 8.7 points better at 1,700.87.

Zurich: Heavy buying in large bank stocks supported the rest of the market, and the Swiss Performance Index closed 15.34 points to the good at 1,504.75.

Milan: Failing to respond to the cut in the discount rate, the MIB lost 1.34 per cent to 1,177.

London: Report, page 24.

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