Business and City Summary

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The Independent Online
Turkish resignation

Turkey's Central Bank Governor, Rusdu Saracoglu, resigned as the prime minister, Tansu Ciller, continued her high-risk assault on senior bureaucrats who pre-date her one-month-old administration.

IBM governance

International Business Machines is reported to be creating a new panel of outside directors to focus on corporate governance. The committee, led by James Burke, will nominate directors, handle proposals from shareholders and oversee the board's power structure.

Relocation shift

The Inland Revenue confirmed that when a relocation agency acts as agent for an employer and buys properties owned by relocating employees the costs of the move will not be regarded as a taxable benefit to the employee. The Budget introduced an pounds 8,000 cap on tax-deductible relocation expenses.

Fakes seized

Walt Disney Group's wholly- owned subsidiary in Hong Kong said large quantities of fake Disney products were seized in a recent battle against counterfeit merchandise in southern China. Officials raided three factories in Shenzhen, Zhongshan and Dongguan and found counterfeit Disney clothing, iron-on transfers and silkscreens.

NatWest disposal

National Westminster Bank is selling three branches of its retail Australian network to State Bank of New South Wales for an undisclosed sum.

New directors

Leeds Group has appointed Tom Ashdown managing director and John Schofield finance director. Both internal appointments were made in response to institutional pressure for the company to comply with Cadbury committee recommendations.

World Markets

New York: Weakness in high-tech issues, combined with some profit- taking, pulled the market down. By the close the Dow Jones average was 27.95 adrift at 3,539.47.

Tokyo: In light trade the Nikkei average fell 76.71 to 20,380.14.

Hong Kong: Strong buying from overseas institutions carried the Hang Seng up 89.03 to 6,988.96.

Sydney: Although coming off highs fuelled by the central bank's interest rate cut, the All Ordinaries held on to a 15.5-point gain at 1,844.

Bombay: Despite late profit-taking the index closed up 99.4 at 2,332.14.

Johannesburg: Gold shares moved sharply higher as the gold price shot through dollars 400. With industrials also strong, the overall index climbed 92 points to 4,177.

Frankfurt: Fears for the future of the European Monetary System lowered the DAX index 30.47 points (1.8 per cent) to 1,803.23.

Paris: Powering ahead for the second day running, the CAC-40 index added 49.88 points to 2,085.88.

Milan: A rally by Fiat took most blue chips with it. The MIB rose five points to a year's high of 1,242.

London: Report, page 21.

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