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The Independent Online

The decision by Jim Bolger, New Zealand's Prime Minister, to dump his hardline finance minister, Ruth Richardson, will spark yet another bout of post- election weakness on New Zealand's financial markets, economists said.

Mr Bolger yesterday appointed his right-hand man and friend Bill Birch as finance minister, saying the country needed a new style of economic management in the wake of elections that slashed his conservative National government's parliamentary majority from 34 to one.


The Ferranti Shareholders' Association wrote to National Westminster, lead banker to the electronics company, calling on it to consider a move into administration as an alternative to a takeover by GEC or receivership.


The chairman of the conciliation service Acas is being urged by the Banking, Insurance and Finance Union to halt Barclays Bank's plan to sack 505 staff in London and the South-east.


Saudi Arabia's imports declined by about 12 per cent in the first half of 1993 despite a business upturn. A study showed showed the US remained the top exporter to Saudi Arabia with exports of dollars 2.85bn in the first half of 1993, followed by Britain, with dollars 1.86bn, Japan at dollars 1.6bn and Germany at dollars 853m.


The Ukraine national bank has set a ceiling on its exchange rate against the US dollar, with an upper limit of 14,000 karbovanets for commercial banks.


The Philippines is scheduled to resume stalled talks with the International Monetary Fund for a new credit agreement.

TODAY 29.11.93

Interims: Associated Nursing Services, Borthwicks, Bristol Evening Post, EFM Income Trust, Gartmore Value Investments, Kalamazoo, James Latham, Merrydown, Shield Diagnostics, Tops Estates.

Finals: Cantab Pharmaceuticals (3rd quarter), Control Techniques, Sheafbank Ppty Tst.

Annual meetings: John Maunders, Pantheon Intnl.

Extrordinary meeting: Greyfriars Inv.

TOMORROW 30.11.93

Monthly digest of statistics (Nov), economic trends (Nov).

Interims: Dawson International, Eastern Electricity, Philip Harris, JLI Group, Metrotect Industries, Monks Inv Trust, North American Gas Inv Trust (3rd quarter), Royal Trust Government Securities Fund, Verson Intnl Group, Worth Investment.

Finals: Dundee & London Inv Trust, H Young Holdings.

Annual meetings: Canadian Overseas Packaging, MR Data Management, St Ives.


Interims: Anglo United, Argyll Group, British Bio-Technology, Cape, Field Group, General Electric, Gibbon Lyons Group, Gibbs Mew, Johnson Matthey, Mid Kent Holdings, Mountview Estates, Northamber, Rothmans International, VTech Holdings, Yorkshire Water.

Finals: Bass, Huntingdon Intnl.

Annual meetings: Allied London Properties, Castle Communications.

Extraordinary meeting: EW Fact.

THURSDAY 2.12.93

Interims: Anglian Group, Castings, Govett American Endeavour Fund, Racal Electronics, Scapa Group, Severn Trent, Wrexham & East Denbighshire Water.

Finals: Grand Metropolitan, Hanson, Leeds Group, MEPC, Metro Radio Group, Royal Bank of Scotland.

Annual meeting: A Beckman.

FRIDAY 3.12.93

Annual meetings: Eleco Holdings, Highland Distilleries.