Business & City in Brief

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The Independent Online
BCCI funds may reach pounds 1bn in US

Touche Ross, the liquidator of Bank of Credit & Commerce International, said yesterday it may recover up to dollars 1.5bn ( pounds 1bn) in the US, where so far dollars 550m has been retrieved. The annual report on the liquidation also said liquidators' fees so far are dollars 169.2m, including dollars 35.9m last year.

Palmer query

Joe Palmer, chairman of the Personal Investment Authority, will be asked to clarify misleading remarks he made to the House of Commons' Treasury Committee in writing. The committee, conducting an inquiry into financial regulation, yesterday decided not to call him back to give further evidence in person.

Stoy investigation

Stoy Hayward, the accountancy firm, and accountants involved in the running of Astra Holdings, the failed munitions group that was the result of a critical Department of Trade and Industry report last year, are to be investigated by the accountancy profession's joint disciplinary scheme. Announcement of a similar investigation of Stoy Hayward's role in the collapse of Asil Nadir's Polly Peck has been delayed.

Indian strike

Nearly a million bank employees in India went on strike to protest against a law authorising state- owned banks to sell up to 49 per cent equity to raise fresh capital. Banking transactions were brought to a standstill as the strike hit thousands of branches of the 28 public sector banks, the All India Bank Employees' Association said.

Tobacco wars

Brown & Williamson, the BAT- owned tobacco company, won a US court ruling in a case involving stolen documents recently obtained and published by American newspapers. B&W said its documents had been quoted out of context to distort its position. The company reiterated its position that cigarettes are not addictive.

Dunedin up

Dunedin Fund Managers of Edinburgh, part-owned by the Bank of Scotland, has increased its funds under management by 38 per cent to pounds 4.9bn at the end of January. Pre-tax profits in the previous year rose by 85 per cent to pounds 6m.

Slow boat for China

Peter Sutherland, Gatt director- general, poured cold water on Chinese hopes of entering the world trade body this year, describing China's early accession as 'possible, but a difficult task'.

Coke in

Poland Coca-Cola has opened three new plants in Poland on the same day, nearly doubling its total investment in the country to dollars 314m. The new ventures make Coca-Cola the largest US investor in Poland.

World Markets

New York: Shares slumped as interest rates on Treasury bonds rocketed to 7.36 per cent, a two- year high. The Dow Jones Average sank 27.37 points to close at 3,629.04.

Tokyo: Active buying from foreign investors encouraged by the falling yen lifted the Nikkei average 232.35 points to 20,150.13.

Hong Kong: Property issues, which suffered most in the recent sell-off, led the market sharply higher, with the Hang Seng 366.07 ahead at 8,906.16.

Sydney: Lack of adverse news in the budget helped the All Ordinaries index to close at the day's high of 2,037.9, a gain of 26.4.

Johannesburg: Trading described by one dealer as 'wishy- washy' left the overall index just 15 points firmer at 5,455.

Frankfurt: Ahead of the interest rate cuts the DAX index ended floor trading 8.48 up at 2,243.63.

Paris: The CAC-40 index gained 11.76 points to 2,176.74.

Zurich: Late profit-taking left the Swiss Performance Index just 4.68 ahead at 1,730.73.

London: Report, page 36.

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