Business and City Summary

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Exchange seeks BT cash dealing

The London Stock Exchange has asked market makers in British Telecommunications shares to accept dealings on a cash settlement basis. The Exchange is understood to have made the request to enable SG Warburg, the global co-ordinator of the forthcoming BT share sale, to identify sellers within 48 hours instead of two weeks under the account settlement system.

Net sellers of already-traded BT shares in the run-up to the offer will be allocated fewer BT3 shares.

US prices up 0.1%

Consumer prices in the US rose 0.1 per cent in May following a 0.4 per cent increase in April - lower than predicted by many analysts. The core rate, excluding food and energy, rose 0.2 per cent.

pounds 70m boost for Rolls

Rolls-Royce and Shorts of Belfast received a boost as the Fokker 70 regional airliner was launched with orders from two Indonesian carriers which are buying up to 20 aircraft in a deal worth a potential pounds 70m to Rolls. Short will manufacture the wings.

Japan's surplus falls

Japan's trade surplus was dollars 7.72bn in May, almost unchanged from dollars 7.73bn in May last year but the first fall in 29 months. Exports were dollars 26.85bn, up from dollars 25.42bn in the previous period, and imports were dollars 19.12bn compared with dollars 17.68bn.

KIO firm reprieved

A Madrid court lifted the suspension of payments at Fesa Enfersa, the fertiliser company controlled by Kuwait Investment Office, paving the way for a debt restructuring and subsequent sale.

News Corp TV talks

News Corp is negotiating to buy 22 per cent of Television Broadcasts from Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong) and Kerry Group. Terms were not disclosed. TB is one of the largest producers of Chinese language programming in the world.

Coats lifts stake

Coats Viyella lifted from 39.9 to 51 per cent its stake in the ordinary shares of its Indian subsidiary, which is being renamed Coats Viyella India, at a cost of about pounds 12.25m, payable in three tranches.

Royal rights

Royal Insurance's rights issue to raise pounds 404m was taken up by investors holding 87.2 per cent of its shares. SG Warburg and Hoare Govett found buyers for the remaining shares at a premium of 25.4p above the issue price of 255p.

New Bio drugs

British Bio-Technology has discovered three new drugs, including one to combat severe wasting in cancer patients and a treatment for heart attacks and strokes. They will start trials within a year.

Barings appointment

Barings named William Holman, formerly of Thomson Financial Services, to head its New York office, which directs operations in North and South America.

World Markets

New York: Better-than-expected consumer prices were ignored and the Dow Jones Industrial Average had given up 22.69 points to 3,492.00 by the close.

Tokyo: Prices fell sharply in light index-linked trading. The Nikkei average lost 351.47 to 20,045.88.

Hong Kong: Property stocks and the Jardine Matheson group led shares higher as the Hang Seng index added 16.72 points to 7,283.46.

Sydney: A slump in the gold index due to a weaker bullion price was offset by strong interest in quality blue chips. The All Ordinaries index gained 9.7 points to 1,724.

Johannesburg: Industrial stocks led a late surge and, with gold shares also strong, the overall index advanced 28 points to 3,932.

Paris: Elf, still falling on worries about the oil price, pulled the rest of the market down. The CAC-40 index dipped 18.98 points, a shade under 1 per cent, to 1,897.86.

Frankfurt: Consolidating its recent gains, the DAX index eased 7.88 points to 1,684.1.

Milan: With several leading stocks still declining, technical selling ahead of today's account closure added to downward pressure. The MIB fell 2.66 per cent to 1,133.

London: Report, page 26.