Business and City Summary

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City broker down

Girozentrale Gilbert Eliott, the City stockbroker, was yesterday shut down by Girocredit Bank of Austria, its parent, with the loss of 30 jobs from a total broking staff of 36.

The move follows a review of the bank's international business. As a result, it has withdrawn from agency broking in UK equities and convertibles.

Standard loan

In Indian parliamentary hearings on the Bombay stock exchange scandal, Standard Chartered admitted making an unsecured loan of dollars 50,000 to G Ramaswamy, the attorney-general, while he was advising the government on the affair. The committee chairman described the loan as 'part of a public relations exercise'.

C&G cuts rate

Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society has cut its mortgage rate by a full percentage point to 9.75 per cent, slightly more than most of its rivals.

Expensive gas

Gas is up to 30 per cent cheaper for companies elsewhere in Europe, compared with Britain, in spite of efforts to increase competition in the gas supply market, according to the Gas Consumers Council.

Airbreak crash

David Buchler and Edward Wacey were appointed administrators of Airbreak Leisure Group on the request of the company's directors yesterday. The shares were suspended earlier this year at 3.5p.

UK doing better

Gross trading profits of UK companies, net of stock appreciation, rose a seasonally adjusted 7.6 per cent in the second quarter of 1992 and were up 8.4 per cent on a year earlier, the Central Statistical Office said.

Hershey bite

Hershey Foods, the US confectioner, made a dollars 575m bid for 44.1 per cent of the Norwegian sweets company Freia Marabou, which has recommended a dollars 1.5bn full offer by the American tobacco company Philip Morris. Hershey already holds 18.6 per cent, but was thought unlikely to succeed.

Gota goes

Gota, the Swedish holding company that owns Gota Bank and Gota Finans, collapsed yesterday with debts of up to SKr5bn ( pounds 540m).

IBM axes more

IBM, the computer company, said it was cuting 40,000 employees worldwide this year, double its original estimate.

Agnelli bows out

Giovanni Agnelli, aged 71, said he intended to step down as chairman of Fiat in 1994.

Speyhawk exit

(First Edition)

Richard Burgess, the finance director of Speyhawk, is leaving to join Chartwell Land, the propoerty subsidiary of Kingfisher, finance director. Robert Fish, finance director of the principal trading subsidiaries, has been appointed the new group finance director.

Sales bounce

(First Edition)

Sales of unit trusts improved in August after two poor months. Figures from the Unit Trust Association show that net investment reached pounds 55.5m after a net outflow of pounds 141.7m in July and pounds 23.5m in June.

World Markets

New York: Caution ahead of Friday's employment data pushed the Dow Jones Average down 9.46 points to 3,266.80 by the close in thin trade.

Tokyo: Renewed buying interest near the close restricted the loss by the Nikkei average to 224.52, closing at 17,748.09.

Hong Kong: The Hang Seng index gave up 15.28 points to 5,581.92 in thin trade.

Sydney: A revival of concern about the Australian dollar took the All Ordinaries index down 8.7 points to 1,487.8.

Bombay: The index fell 44.23 points to 3,195.75 in thin trade.

Johannesburg: Prices ended mixed, with the overall index four points lower at 3,198.

Frankfurt: A volatile session dominated by pessimism over interest rates left the DAX index 1.22 firmer at 1,476.26.

Milan: Uncertainty over the budget kept turnover low. The MIB eased 0.2 per cent.

Istanbul: The index closed at a seven-week low of 4,004.77 after plunging 83.4 (2 per cent).

London: Report, page 27.