Business and City Summary

Porsche suffers pounds 50m loss

Porsche announced a net loss of DM120m ( pounds 50m) in the six months to January. Sales at the sports car maker plunged by 35 per cent from the same period last year to DM820m.

Porsche's chief executive, Wendelin Wiedeking, said he expected full-year production to total between 15,000 and 17,000 cars, compared with 19,000 in the year to July 1992.

USM delay

The Stock Exchange said it would make a final decision on the future of the Unlisted Securities Market, the second-tier market designed for small companies, in the next few weeks.

Trust fights back

Drayton Asia, the investment trust fighting a pounds 125m takeover bid, is working on proposals to give better value to shareholders, in response to the 'inadequate offer' from the EFM Dragon Trust. Drayton Asia said Dragon's offer was uncertain and would be worth only 86.1 per cent of Drayton's net asset value if Dragon traded at its average discount over the past year.

UK quota battle Britain contested a European Commission complaint that it broke EC law by renewing national import quotas despite the creation of the single market.

Computer crash

Japan's five largest computer makers - Hitachi, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, NEC and Fujitsu - expect to report a 72 per cent fall in net profits for 1992.

Bayer wields axe

Bayer, the German chemical giant, will put 3,000 workers on short shifts because of the weak economy.

Swiss bank up

Credit Suisse, Switzerland's third-largest commercial bank, reported a 1 per cent rise in 1992 net profits to a record Sfr857m ( pounds 389.5m).

Market study

The Bank of England has appointed a panel to study legal uncertainties affecting wholesale financial markets in the UK in the aftermath of the local authority swaps debacle in 1990.

World Markets

New York: Positive employment figures lifted the Dow Average more than 34 points, but program selling trimmed the gain to 5.67 at 3,404.58.

Tokyo: Quiet support for pharmaceutical shares helped the Nikkei Average 58.09 higher at 16,817.70.

Hong Kong: The Hang Seng index closed up 35.01 at a record 6,503.81 on growing optimism over a political settlement.

Sydney: Profit-taking pushed the All Ordinaries index 9.3 lower at 1,613.6.

Johannesburg: The gold index soared 60 to 993 as foreign buyers stocked up on blue chips.

Milan: Weakness in motor shares undermined the MIB index, down 0.34 per cent at 1,182.

Frankfurt: Investors were unmoved by the Bundesbank's change of heart over interest rates and the DAX index ended down 4.58 at 1,682.82.

Paris: The CAC-40 index recovered from early profit-taking to end 8.37 better at 1,995.12 as bond prices soared.

London: Report, page 19.

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