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The Independent Online
SFO appeals on Nadir charges

The Serious Fraud Office has begun an appeal to reinstate 46 theft charges against Asil Nadir, former chairman of Polly Peck International.

Mr Justice Tucker last month dismissed the charges, saying they were not supported by enough evidence.

Aid protest

Lord Caithness, the aviation minister, attacked the European Commission for allowing the Spanish government to inject pounds 657m into its ailing state- owned airline, Iberia.

GE guilty plea General Electric Co pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money laundering and agreed to pay dollars 69m in fines in a bribery and fraud scandal involving the sale of military jet engines to Israel.

Corporate assets

Companies should disclose long-term and substantial debtors on the balance sheet to avoid misinterpretation of the accounts, the Accounting Standards Board said.

Hong Kong hope

The Hong Kong government is confident that a solution can be found for the Sino-British financing row over the colony's new airport.

In Hungary

A Marks & Spencer store is to open in Budapest in September, a franchise joint venture between the Hungarian retailer S Modell and the Austrian trading company Demexco.


Fimbra has suspended Hope Associates of Lichfield, Staffordshire. The police have been informed.

British Gas split Robert Evans, British Gas chairman and chief executive, is to cede the latter role to Cedric Brown, senior managing director. Meanwhile Charles Donovan resigned from the board.

Albany injection

Albany Life, the UK insurer, which has nearly pounds 1bn under management, has confirmed that Metropolitan Life, its US parent, injected pounds 18m into it last December.

Vaccine deal

SmithKline Beecham has reached agreement with Yale University to develop a vaccine against Lyme disease, which is transmitted by ticks to humans, in return for undisclosed licence fees and royalties.

Hidden costs

People buying investment products from life insurance companies will have to be told how much of their premiums are being eaten up by the company's expenses under rules published yesterday.

World Markets

New York: Weakness on overseas markets hit trading. By the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 30.80 points at 3,277.61.

Tokyo: Prices sank to their lowest level since April 1986. The Nikkei average dived 460.46 to 15,541.95 and has now lost 9.2 per cent in five trading sessions.

Hong Kong: Closed due to warning of approaching typhoon.

Sydney: Tokyo's losses dragged the market down after a strong start. The All Ordinaries ended two points lower at 1,607.2.

Bombay: Shares retreated on profit-taking. The index fell 52.47 points to 2,818.12.

Paris: Pessimism over interest rates sent the CAC-40 to its lowest close since Christmas, 35.18 points weaker at 1,727.49.

Frankfurt: Still depressed by higher interest rates, the DAX index fell another 31.55 points to a six-month low of 1,628.22.

Milan: Weakness on other bourses dampened already bearish sentiment. The MIB lost four points to 803.

London: Report, page 29.