Business and City Summary

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The Independent Online
Japan's trade surplus widens

Japan's trade surplus widened to dollars 7.50bn in August from dollars 5.7bn a year earlier and to a seasonally adjusted dollars 8.74bn from dollars 8.53bn a month earlier.

Trade with the US widened to an unadjusted dollars 3.51bn surplus in August, from dollars 2.95bn last time.

Morgan rises

Morgan Stanley, the US investment bank, has lifted second- quarter net income 18 per cent, reflecting a strong market for underwriting services. It earned dollars 119m on net revenues of dollars 764.1m in the quarter to 31 July against dollars 100.9m, on revenue of dollars 669.1m.

Mehta charge Harshad Mehta, the broker at the centre of India's pounds 600m shares scandal, has accused his government of making him a scapegoat in the affair.

Foreign swap David Pirrie is to become head of international and private banking at Lloyds Bank. Paul Brown will take over Mr Pirrie's former role of head of UK retail banking. The changes follow the retirement of Frank Jones as international banking chief.

Fifth re-run Receivers of Fifth Aveneue, the fashion mail-order catalogue supplier and part of Berkertex, which collapsed because of heavy debt, have sold the assets to a new company set up by former senior managers of Fifth Avenue.

Andersen buy Arthur Andersen, the international accounting firm, acquired Senn-Delaney Management Consultants, one of the leading US firms specialising in retail services.

KPMG award KPMG Peat Marwick says its Midland region is the first accountancy firm in the UK to have received the Investors in People award. The scheme is a Training and Enterprise Council initiative that requires employers to show that they meet 24 requirements linked to the development of employees.

Chinese chaos Ordinary investors had access to less than half of the application forms in China's chaotic stock lottery last month after corrupt officials reportedly took most for themselves.

Gatt restart The Uruguay round of the Gatt agriculture talks are expected to resume at an expert level, probably on 21 September.

Chemist contract

Lloyds Chemists, the pharmaceutical wholesaler and retailer, has secured a contract to distribute children's vaccines for the National Health Service.

World Markets

New York: In uneventful trading shares gave up modest gains and by early afternoon the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.08 points at 3,304.08.

Tokyo: With investors taking profits and running for the sidelines, the Nikkei average plunged 800.78 to 18,107.69.

Hong Kong: Worries about worsening Sino-US trade friction triggered a 94.26-point fall by the Hang Seng to 5,537.29.

Sydney: With heavy buying of Westpac rights the main feature, the All Ordinaries index climbed 17.2 points to 1,501.

Johannesburg: The prospect of government-ANC talks lifted the index 16 points to 3,064.

Frankfurt: Gains by a handful of major stocks, including Allianz and BMW, enabled the DAX index to close almost unchanged, 0.87 easier at 1,527.8.

Paris: The CAC-40 index gained 27.81 points to 1,801.99.

Milan: Ending three days of slight gains, the MIB fell back 1.64 per cent to 720 on the lira's weakness and political worries.

London: Report, page 19.