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The Independent Online
German recovery

gathers pace The German economy is beginning to stir, and a stronger recovery should get under way in the second half of this year, a majority of the country's leading economic institutes said yesterday.

Presenting their spring report, the institutes noted steadily improving exports were pulling the economy out of the harsh recession of 1992-93. Five of the six institutes forecast economic growth of 1 per cent in western Germany in 1994.

BZW in Channel bid

BZW last night confirmed that it had submitted a bid to build and run the high-speed rail link between the Channel tunnel and London. Tarmac has offered its services as project manager in the initial phases.

Schneider warrant

Frankfurt public prosecutors yesterday issued a warrant for the arrest of the fugitive property developer Jurgen Schneider, citing suspicion of fraud and falsification of documents. Swiss authorities blocked Mr Schneider's Geneva bank accounts, said to contain several million marks.

Swan-song for jobs

Swan Hunter is likely to axe a further 148 jobs next month and temporarily lay off 237 staff. The shipbuilder's joint administrative receivers are holding discussions with union representatives to try to find alternatives.

Shell sells Royal Dutch Shell said it is selling assets in the Far East for a pounds 350m profit. The company said the disposal of 'non-operating assets' would have a positive impact on its second-quarter net income. The shares rose 4p to 728p.

TR buys portfolio TR Property Investment Trust is buying a portfolio of 10 commercial properties from Postel, the BT and Post Office pension fund, for pounds 39m.

Marine's rising tide Marine Midland, the US subsidiary of HSBC, made a dollars 52.6m net profit in the first quarter, 55 per cent up on a year ago and 16 per cent above the previous quarter.

RBS in Spain

Royal Bank of Scotland may buy between 2 and 3 per cent of Banesto, the troubled Spanish Bank where a controlling stake was sold yesterday to Banco Santander for pounds 1.6bn. Santander has offered shares to Royal, in which Santander also has a stake. Royal could invest pounds 30m or more.

Regina triumph Shiraz Malik-Noor won his battle for control of Regina yesterday when his adversary, Paul Geoghegan, resigned as chairman. Mr Geoghegan is replaced by Guy Neely. Mr Malik-Noor, deposed as chairman last month, was re-elected to the board at an egm on Monday, along with Mr Neely and Cecil Philips.

World Markets

New York: Shares took a breather after Monday's surge, and by the close the Dow Jones average had dropped 6.24 points to finish on 3,699.79.

Tokyo: Light index-linked selling carried the Nikkei average down 80.21 points to 19,628.93.

Hong Kong: Inspired by the strength of the US market, the Hang Seng index climbed 192.53, more than 2 per cent, to 9,328.64.

Sydney: Also boosted by Wall Street, the All Ordinaries index added 26.9 points to 2,069.4.

Bombay: A late recovery reduced losses, leaving the index 27.93 points lower at 3,785.34.

Johannesburg: Active trade celebrating the elections drove the index up 172 points to 5,240.

Paris: Again taking their lead from the volatile bond market, shares posted gains. The CAC-40 index closed 14.62 up at 2,126.67.

Frankfurt: An upturn in bonds fuelled sharp gains. The DAX index rose 40.98 points to 2,243.2.

Zurich: The Swiss Performance Index added 10.44 points to 1,802.96 in dull trading.

London: Report, page 32.