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The Independent Online
Channel 5 may be readvertised

The Independent Television Commission has concluded that there is a 'strong case' for re-advertising the licence for Channel 5, following submissions it has received arguing that it had overestimated the technical difficulties in establishing a new terrestrial channel.

It will not make a firm decision to readvertise until the Government confirms the frequencies needed will remain available.

S&P cuts costs

Save & Prosper is cutting the interest rate on its credit card to 0.95 per cent a month - 13.9 per cent APR. This is the first time a widely available credit card has charged less than 1 per cent.

Merrill Lynch debut

Merrill Lynch will begin market- making in gilt-edged stock next Monday, following approval from the Bank of England and the Securities and Futures Authority.

UK regulators

The British approach to regulating securities firms is more efficient than that proposed by the Basle Committee on banking supervision, which fails to make enough allowance for variations in risk and volatility, according to a paper published yesterday by the City Research Project.

Coventry lifts profit

Coventry Building Society has reported a 30 per cent rise in pre- tax profit to pounds 32.1m from pounds 24.7m, the result of a sharp improvement in mortgage arrears.

Rolls power play

Rolls-Royce and Malaysia's EPE Power Corp have formed a joint venture company to bid for important power deals in South- east Asia. The new company will be targeting the high-voltage substation market in Malaysia and possibly other Asian countries.

Liquor venture

Grand Metropolitan's International Distillers and Vintners subsidiary has entered into a joint venture with Coromin of the US to distribute IDV spirits in Kazakhstan.

Cathay buys Airbus

Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong's unofficial flag carrier, has signed a contract with Airbus Industrie for six new ultra-long range A340-300 aircraft. They are scheduled for delivery over an eight-month period, beginning July 1996.

Japan cars hit bottom

Japan's automobile production, which fell from its 1990 peak by 2.5 million to 11 million units last year, is close to the trough on its decline, and is not likely to fall any further, Mazda Motor Corp's president, Yoshihiro Wada, said.

World Markets

New York: Closed for holiday.

Tokyo: Higher future prices provided a shot in the arm for the Nikkei 225, up 434.34 points at 19,393.94.

Hong Kong: Investor worries about further interest rate rises in the US depressed the Hang Seng index 366 to 10,459.

Bombay: A buying spree triggered by hopes of further economic reforms lifted the BSE index 231.11 to 4,146.15.

Sydney: Media and insurers were hardest hit by Friday's slide in New York, with the All Ordinaries 44.7 adrift at 2,178.5.

Johannesburg: The sluggish bullion price and uncertainty over constitutional talks erased 27 points from the gold index at 1,875.

Frankfurt: Weakness in the bond markets lowered the DAX index 32.44 points to 2,119.29

Zurich: The SPI index gave up 13.91 points to 2,997.6 in quiet trading.

Milan: Demand for bank shares limited the decline in the Mitbel index to 49 points at 10,924.

Paris: The CAC-40 index gave up 36.58 points to 2,215.20 on profit-taking.

London: Report, page 26.