Business & City in Brief

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Thames Television sells Reeves

Thames Television said it had sold Reeves Entertainment but retained the non-US rights to the Reeves Entertainment library.

There remain a number of contingent liabilities, so the total cost of the disposal may still reach the level of the year-end provision of pounds 16m, the company said.

Montedison losses

Losses of L320bn (pounds 135m) announced last month by the Italian conglomerate Montedison are closer to L1,000bn, according to the lawyer of Giuseppe Garofano, the former chairman.

Luca Mucci said the loss, which caused Montedison to revise its 1992 consolidated net loss downwards to L1,690bn from L1,240bn, was caused by balance sheet fraud. Raul Gardini, Garofano's predecessor who was found dead at his home last week, had been engaged in reabsorbing the loss.

Heron unloads stake

The property group Heron International said it had sold its 50 per cent interest in the Rue D'Arlon building in Brussels to an undisclosed buyer, valuing the building at pounds 32m.

Money laundering

The cost to banks and financial institutions of implementing new money laundering legislation could be pounds 30m initially and pounds 20m a year, according to government estimates. The British Bankers Association said the figures were so imprecise they might have been 'pulled out of a hat'.

More homes sold in US

Sales of existing single family homes in the US rose 1.9 per cent in June, after a revised rise of 4.9 per cent in May, according to the National Association of Realtors. Existing home sales have risen for three consecutive months.

Astra to sue in Japan

Astra, the Swedish drug group, said it intended to sue Takeda Chemical Industries for alleged infringement of patents for its Losec ulcer treatment.

Graseby orders

Graseby, the electronics group, has this month received dollars 7m of orders in the US for emission monitoring equipment produced by its environmental division.

Airbus order suspended

Sri Lanka has suspended a dollars 700m order to buy aircraft from Airbus Industrie following an investigation ordered by President Dingiri Banda Wigetunga. In Paris, Airbus said it was ready to rethink conditions of payment for the sale.

Steel deal cleared

The European Commission has cleared Usinor-Sacilor's Sollac unit to take a 30 per cent stake in the Spanish steel distribution group Barcelonesa de Metales.

Savings and loan call

The four top US federal bank and savings and loans regulators called on the House of Representatives to pass legislation providing funds to finish the savings and loan industry clean-up, saying more delays would only drive up the cost of the bail-out.

World Markets

New York: Stocks hit record levels, bolstered by gains in big names like Boeing and General Motors. The Dow climbed 20.96 points to end at 3,567.70, above the 3,555.40 closing high set on 21 July.

Tokyo: The Nikkei average gained 87.51 points to 19,822.08 on index-linked buying in thin trade.

Hong Kong: Strong buying of Shanghai Petrochemical, the second Chinese company listed in the colony, helped the Hang Seng index up 107.75 points to 6,858.08.

Sydney: A sharp fall in stock index futures prices took the All Ordinaries down 11.1 points to 1,795.7.

Bombay: Despite some institutional profit-taking, the index added 9.27 points to 2,169.04.

Johannesburg: Gold shares ended weaker but off lows. The overall index lost 13 points to 3,986.

Frankfurt: Hopes of lower interest rates spurred the DAX index to 1,854.52, a 21.5-point gain.

Paris: The CAC-40 index gained 11.18 points to 2,006.22.

Zurich: The strong dollar boosted sentiment as the Swiss Performance Index rose 18.92 to 1,508.88.

London: Report, page 22.