Municipal Mutual Insurance, the troubled local authority insurer, is to be taken over by its counterparts in France and Belgium and will join the Eurosafe group of continental municipal insurers. Under the deal, MMI will be transferred to La Garantie Mutuelle des Fonctionnaires of France and Belgium's Societe Mutuelle des Administrations Publiques .
MMI ranks as the ninth-largest general insurer in the UK. It lost nearly pounds 239m after tax in 1991.
Power Corporation, the Irish property group, is to sell the 50 per cent in three properties that it acquired from Brent Walker Group in March because of heavy gearing. Power bought interests in the Trocadero shopping centre in London, the Tower Centre in Blackpool and the Ambassador Hotel site in Los Angeles.
A consortium led by GEC Alsthom has won a pounds 200m contract to extend the Shajiao 'C' power station in China. It brings to pounds 800m the value of deals at Shajiao won this year by the consortium.
Companies with annual turnover of less than pounds 2m should have a statement signed by a qualified accountant rather than a formal audit, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants said.
The Russian government is discussing with British Airways the development of an international terminal at Domodiedovo airport, Moscow.
The European Commission is to investigate a proposed deal in which Matra and Northern Telecom acquire joint control of Matra Communication.
Rupert Murdoch is standing down as joint chairman and chief executive of Australia's Ansett Transport Industries.
The European Commission said it would apply sanctions against non-Community countries that discriminate against EC banks, securities firms and insurance companies.
Bibby has won its pounds 87.4m takeover bid for Spanish firm Finanzauto SA, the distributor in Spain and Portugal of Caterpillar's earth-moving machines.
The US said it had signed an agreement with the EC to curb subsidies to makers of large civil aircraft, ending a threat of action over subsidies to Airbus.
New York: Poor trade figures and fears about corporate profits pushed the Dow Jones average down 29.99 points to 3,331.64 by the close.
Tokyo: The Nikkei average closed at the day's low in listless trade, down 439.59 at 16,548.07.
Hong Kong: Property stocks were the heaviest losers as the Hang Seng index retreated 34.47 points to 6,128.06.
Sydney: Support for resources stocks waned as the All Ordinaries index resumed its downward path, losing 9.7 to 1,629.5.
Wellington: Investors seeking high yields lifted the index 8.22 to a 22-month high of 1,597.45.
Bombay: The return of the monsoon, vital to India's agriculture-based economy, helped the index to 2,761.45, up 3.38.
Frankfurt: The interest rate rise sent prices plunging more than 2 per cent. The DAX suffered its biggest one-day fall for nearly a year, 37.87 to 1,702.66.
Paris: A heavy fall in bond futures was matched by the CAC-40, down 49.45 to 1,801.78.
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