Business & City in Brief

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Lehman Brothers profits plunge

Lehman Brothers, reporting its first earnings since winning independence from American Express in June, saw its profits fall almost 90 per cent on sharply lower revenue.

The Wall Street brokerage, struggling with inherited over- capacity in a declining market, said its net income for the three months ending in August was only dollars 22m against dollars 112m.

LDV revival

Birmingham-based LDV, on the brink of closure until bought out by its management from the crashed DAF trucks group last year, will today report pre-tax profits of pounds 8.3m for the first six months of 1994.

Still undecided

The European Commission is to hold a further round of consultation before deciding if it will propose a binding directive on media ownership, the EU internal market commissioner, Raniero Vanni d'Archirafi, said.

New to network

Clark Whitehill, Britain's 12th- largest accounting firm, is to replace Stoy Hayward in the Horwath International worldwide network of accounting and management consulting firms. Stoy, the 10th-biggest practice, is due to join the rival international grouping BDO.

Restaurant float

BrightReasons, which owns the Pizzaland, Bella Pasta and Pizza Piazza restaurant chains, is preparing a stock market flotation with an expected valuation of up to pounds 70m.

Feeling the draught

A delegation of brewers and pub operators met the Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke, to demand a 50 per cent cut in excise duty on beer. The delegation, headed by Ian Prosser, chairman of Bass, said a cut would revive the flagging beer market, increase employment and curb cheap cross- Channel imports.

Colibri deal

Stephen Hinchliffe, former chairman of the Sheffield engineer James Wilkes, has bought the cigarette lighter company Colibri. The price was not disclosed but is thought to be about pounds 10m. Mr Hinchliffe recently bought the handbag retailer Salisburys from Signet.

Tax plea

The British Venture Capital Association has called for 'tapering' capital gains tax under which assets held for more than six years would be liable to only 20 per cent tax.

Sell-off backed

The Confederation of British Industry said it was strongly in favour of privatisation of the nuclear industry, which it viewed as an important step in the liberalisation of Britain's electricity markets.

World Markets

New York: Worries that interest rates will be forced still higher hit shares and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 17.49 points lower at 3,851.60.

Tokyo: After testing 20,000 in late afternoon, the Nikkei average fell back on index-linked selling to close only 48.11 points to the good at 19,885.38.

Hong Kong: Closed (holiday).

Sydney: Reacting to Wall Street's sharp fall, the All Ordinaries index dipped 18.5 to 2,026.6 on good turnover.

Bombay: Buying by mutual funds erased early losses and lifted the index 18.73 to 4,507.11.

Johannesburg: Sharp gains in the gold and mining sector were more than cancelled out by weak industrials. The overall index surrendered 14 points to 5,786.

Frankfurt: Lower-than-expected German money supply data helped the DAX index to edge up 0.54 of a point to 2,079.5.

Paris: A thin market depressed by Wall Street's performance took the CAC-40 index 22.07 points lower to 1,897.18.

Zurich: Shares closed little changed, with the SPI 0.62 of a point firmer at 1,718.91.

London: Report, page 20.