Business and City Summary

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The Independent Online
O&Y defaults on Li Ka-shing Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong businessman seen as a potential buyer for some assets of Olympia & York, the troubled Canadian property group, has served the US subsidiary of O&Y with a default notice on the mortgage on a building in New York, after it fell behind with its payments.

In Toronto, a bankruptcy judge granted O&Y an extra six weeks to draft a reorganisation plan for dollars 7bn in debt owed on its Canadian ventures.

Severance pay More than 80 per cent of UK companies give severance payments above the statutory requirements, according to a survey by Right Associates, management consultants, and the Institute of Personnel Management. Nearly half admitted to using the term 'redundancy' as a euphemism for dismissal for incompetence.

Amersham pays

Amersham International paid pounds 174,000 compensation for loss of office to Ed Gallagher, manufacturing director, who resigned last December. He is now chief executive of the National Rivers Authority. The salary of Bill Castell, chief executive, rose 35 per cent to pounds 230,525, including a pounds 78,000 performance-related bonus.

Busy consultants

Work related to the Citizen's Charter is helping to boost demand for management consultancy in the public sector. Financial services work also increased, but demand from retail and manufacturing businesses remains flat, according to the quarterly survey from the Management Consultancies Association.

UTA to widen

The Unit Trust Association plans to widen its membership to include offshore funds, investment trusts and managers of personal equity plans as part of a programme to be put to members on 28 July. The UTA has ruled out merger with the Association of Investment Trust Companies at this stage.

Maxwell cash

The trust set up to help Maxwell pensioners received its first donation from a Maxwell adviser when Watsons, the actuaries, contributed pounds 50,000.

Deficit widens

Germany's current account deficit widened to DM4.2bn ( pounds 1.5bn) in May from a revised DM1.9bn in April.

Simon buys

Simon Engineering has bought the marine seismic data acquisition division of the Teledyne Exploration Co for dollars 10m.

Renault rises

Renault said first-half European sales rose by 33,000 to 767,000.

World Markets

New York: A technical rebound from recent falls pushed prices up sharply, leaving the Dow Jones Average 30.80 points higher at 3,324.08 at the close.

Paris: Prices were helped by Wall Street's bounce, the CAC- 40 index rising 14.09 points to 1,861.84.

Frankfurt: Short-covering brought prices back up for the DAX index to add 6.46 points at 1,757.64.

Milan: A flurry of buying boosted leading stocks. The MIB index closed 0.48 per cent higher at 846.

Tokyo: Prices were firmer in choppy trade, the Nikkei gaining 248.40 points to 16,848.66.

Hong Kong: The Hang Seng fell 56.39 points to 5,925.52. Brokers said some European institutions dumped shares.

Singapore: Bargain-hunting saw the Straits Times index rise 7.50 points to 1,481.02.

Sydney: The worst unemployment figures since the 1930s sent the All Ordinaries index, down 9.3 points to 1,642.1.

London: Report, page 25.