Business and City summary

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270 jobs to go in Fray sale

Brooke Bond, the PG Tips subsidiary of Unilever, the food and washing powder group, has sold Fray Bentos, the tinned meat business, to the Campbell Soup Company.

Campbell will move Fray's manufacturing from Hackney in east London to its existing plant in Kings Lynn with the loss of 270 jobs.

Zeneca approved

Zeneca, the pharmaceutical arm of ICI, has been granted a new approval for its Diprivan anaesthetic by the US Food and Drug Administration. It can now be used for sedation of intensive care patients.

Hope in Japan

The latest Bank of Japan 'tankan' quarterly corporate survey showed Japan was in a severe economic adjustment phase, but many manufacturing respondents expect their business to improve by mid-year.

Power plans

National Power has embarked on a feasibility study with a view to building and operating a pounds 260m power plant in India.

Franchise fall

Turnover of the UK franchise industry slipped 5.7 per cent to pounds 4.5bn last year, according to the NatWest/British Franchise Association's latest survey. However, 78 per cent of franchisees said they were trading profitably, compared with 70 per cent the year before.

Dragon fire

Invesco MIM, the fund manager fighting to prevent its Drayton Asia trust being taken over, has recently sold more than 2 million of the trust's shares at values below that offered by EFM Dragon Trust, the bidder claimed.

World Markets

New York: Stocks ended narrowly higher. The Dow Jones industrial average set a third consecutive record high at 3,487.34, up 6.22 points.

Tokyo: Prices edged up in active trading, with the Nikkei average 10.33 higher at 17,858.63.

Hong Kong: Opening weaker after the previous day's record close, the Hang Seng index fell 19.54 points to 6,488.46.

Sydney: Shares closed higher on optimism over the economy. The All Ordinaries index added 13.8 points to 1,647.2.

Johannesburg: With investors holding back ahead of next week's budget, the overall index eased five points to 3,419.

Paris: Wall Street's early fall contributed to unease which saw the CAC-40 index lose 17.27 points to 1,992.42.

Frankfurt: Scattered profit- taking after recent strong rises clipped 3.45 points off the DAX index to 1,709.68.

Milan: Shrugging off the country's political worries, the MIB rose 1.15 per cent to 1,141.

London: Report, page 33.