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Northern goes for price controls

Northern Electric has accepted the new electricity distribution price controls announced last week by the industry regulator, Offer. Almost half of the 12 regional electricity firms have now accepted rather than have the matter referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Robell suspended

Robell Capital Markets has been suspended by Fimbra, the financial intermediaries watchdog, because it failed to ensure that it met the financial resource requirement.

Cray rise

Roger Holland, chairman of Cray, received a pay rise from pounds 140,500 to pounds 236,850 when he stepped up from chief executive in July last year to take over from Sir Peter Michael, who was paid pounds 127,380 as a non-executive chairman. Jon Richards, chief executive, also received a substantial pay rise.

Warburg appointed

Halifax Building Society has appointed SG Warburg's custody and investor services division to handle the administration of its new unit trust business to be launched next year.

France puts out

French manufacturing output increased 2.6 per cent in the second quarter from the first quarter, according to figures from the statistics office, Insee.

Gilt-free month

The Bank of England will not be holding an auction of gilt- edged paper this month. It said: 'The decision not to hold an auction in August, which is in any case the main holiday season, reflects the substantial progress already achieved with gilt-edged funding.'

NEC choice

Japan's NEC Corporation is expected to decide after September whether to build a new pounds 660m next-generation computer chip plant at Livingston, Scotland, or Roseville, California.

Vauxhall prices

Vauxhall Motors is increasing the prices of most of its cars and light commercial vehicles from midnight on Sunday by an average of 2.9 per cent.

Chinese Pepsi

PepsiCo has signed a dollars 20m bottling plant joint venture with two northern Chinese enterprises. Pepsi said the 65,000 square metre plant was expected to produce 10 million cases of soft drinks annually within about two years.

World Markets

New York: After wilting before a weak dollar and bonds, shares recovered - only to slip into negative territory by the close with the Dow Jones Industrial Average off 0.32 at 3,755.11.

Tokyo: The strong yen saw the Nikkei 225 index fall 350.07 points to 20,512.70.

Hong Kong: The Hang Seng index closed 114.45 points lower at 9,404.44.

Singapore: Prices fell on profit- taking. The STI index shed 10.80 at 2,347.17.

Sydney: Shares closed lower despite a rally in gold issues, following a weak performance on Wall Street. The All Ordinaries index lost 5.5 points to 2,061.3.

Johannesburg: A strong financial rand and persistent overseas selling of De Beers lowered the overall index 15 to 5,799.

Frankfurt: The DAX index eased 3.99 to 2,149.57.

Milan: The Mibtel index improved 222 at 10,610, underpinned by bond market gains.

Zurich: Interest rate uncertainty depressed the SMI index 25.7 to 2,557.

Paris: The CAC-40 index gave up 9.21 at 2,001.33.

London: Report, page 13