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ICI's rating

under review Moody's, the US credit rating agency, is reviewing the standing of ICI for a possible downgrade from its Aa3 rating because of recent concerns about diversification plans.

Moody's said recent reductions in ICI's earnings estimates suggested a slower pace of recovery in profitability.

Gooda Walker A ruling on whether an application can go ahead for a judicial review by members of the Gooda Walker insurance syndicates into how pounds 491m of losses have arisen will be made tomorrow in the High Court. Lloyd's is seeking to prevent the judicial review from going ahead.

Accounting fines Ernst & Young, the accounting firm, has retained its licence to practise in Arizona but will have to pay an additional dollars 1.6m ( pounds 842,000) in fines for its part in the Charles Keating savings and loan scandal. The firm has already paid dollars 63m to settle charges stemming from misleading audits.

Record debts

Japan's bankruptcy debt hit a record high of Y3,490bn ( pounds 14.66bn) in the first half of 1992 as companies paid the price for excessive stock and land investment. Analysts, however, say the figure does not accurately reflect the state of the economy.

Parker Pen fined

The European Commission has fined Parker Pen Holdings 40,000 ecus ( pounds 28,600) for operating an agreement that restricted sales of Parker pens within the EC.

Argyll growth

Argyll, the grocery group that includes Safeway supermarkets, has continued to outperform the industry in terms of same-store sales growth, Sir Alistair Grant, chairman, told the annual meeting yesterday.

Copper rises

Copper prices rose to their highest level since January 1991, to dollars 2,550 ( pounds 1,340) a metric ton, in London yesterday amid expectations that the price will respond positively to a pick-up in western economies.

Investment falls

The number of foreign investment projects in Britain fell last year to 332 from the previous year's peak of 350, according to the Department of Trade and Industry. It said 51,000 jobs were created, against 61,000 in 1990.

Anglian Group NM Rothschild has asked us to point out that it released details of offset arrangements when it announced the take-up of shares in Anglian Group on 7 July, contrary to the impression given in View From City Road on 14 July.

World Markets

New York: Heavy selling in bank and oil stocks helped to push the Dow Jones average down by 12.97 points to a 3,345.42 close.

Tokyo: The Nikkei average gave up most of its early gains to close 52.29 up at 17,116.92.

Hong Kong: Subdued trading took the Hang Seng index 28.27 points higher to 6,125.46.

Sydney: Only the gold sector improved as depression over the state of the economy lowered the All Ordinaries index 2.1 points to 1,636.7.

Tel Aviv: Shares rose sharply for the second day running in very high turnover. The blue chip index added 2.61 to 157.76.

Frankfurt: Minimal trading ahead of the Bundesbank council meeting left the DAX just 0.52 higher at 1,734.62.

Paris: Shares edged lower in the wake of bond prices, leaving the CAC-40 index 6.18 points weaker at 1,853.26.

Milan: Blue chips came under selling pressure. The MIB lost 0.57 per cent to 875.

London: Report, page 31.

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