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Whitbread sells 223 pubs

Whitbread, the brewer, has nearly completed its sale of 1,300 pubs to comply with regulations that will be enforced from 1 November.

It has sold 223 to a new company, Discovery, managed by former executives of the pub operator JA Devenish. Discovery paid about pounds 25m for the pubs and Whitbread will continue to supply them with beer.

pounds 160m failure

The Galleria retail and leisure centre at Hatfield, Hertfordshire, was put into administrative receivership yesterday, owing about pounds 160m. A rescue is being considerd by the Carroll Foundation, the international conglomerate of private industrial and investment companies, which is itself owed about pounds 30m.

Luxembourg list

GPA Group, which earlier this year cancelled plans to float in the UK, is to seek a Luxembourg listing for its dollars 300m ( pounds 157m) refinancing. Tony Ryan, founder of the world's largest aircraft leasing firm, may contribute up to dollars 25m of his personal fortune.

Murdoch issue

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has filed a registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the issue of 40 million new shares, the proceeds of which will be used to reduce debt.

Screen sale

Rank Organisation is selling its screen advertising operation to a management team backed by Schroder Ventures for pounds 20m in cash and preference shares with a potential value of pounds 1m.

Air recovery

Further evidence of a recovery in air travel came yesterday as BAA announced that its airports handled a record 8.2 million passengers last month. This was 9 per cent up on August 1991, when the industry was affected by the aftermath of the Gulf war.

NEI pounds 100m order

NEI Parsons, of Newcastle upon Tyne, a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce, has won a pounds 100m order to supply three 250MW steam turbine generators for stage three of the Pulau Seraya power station, owned by the Public Utilities Board of Singapore.

TV job cuts

At least 100 jobs are to go at the recently-merged ITV companies Yorkshire TV and Tyne Tees TV to reduce duplication.

Grand Met issue

Grand Metropolitan is issuing dollars 800m ( pounds 420m) of long-term debt securities in the US. The issue is made up of dollars 300m of seven-year notes, dollars 200m of 12- year notes and dollars 300m of 30- year debentures.

World Markets

New York: The cut in German interest rates sparked a sharp rise in heavy trading. The Dow Jones average was up 70.52 points at 3,376.22 at the close.

Tokyo: The Nikkei average advanced 363.71 to 18,471.4 in thin trade ahead of today's holiday.

Hong Kong: Strong buying sentiment subsided in the afternoon, leaving the Hang Seng index 69.86 ahead at 5,607.15.

Sydney: Continuing Friday's rebound, the All Ordinaries index leapt 35.5 points to 1,536.7.

Johannesburg: Blue chips soared by 2.84 per cent, with strong gains in index-linked stocks taking the overall index to 3,151, an 87-point gain.

Frankfurt: Heavy volume in the wake of the interest rate cuts saw the DAX index climb 67.24 (4.4 per cent) to 1,595.04.

Paris: Germany's move set off frenzied buying, with the CAC- 40 index up 71.61 at 1,873.6.

Milan: Boosted by the lira devaluation, with hopes of lower interest rates, the MIB put on 3.61 per cent to close at 746.

London: Report, page 27.