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Unilever drops P&G actions

Unilever is dropping two Dutch court cases against its rival Procter & Gamble stemming from a row over a new detergent, Omo Power, launched by Unilever in April.

An injunction to make Procter & Gamble Benelux refrain from using the word 'power' for its own detergents was abandoned after the subsidiary of the US consumer products firm voluntarily complied. Unilever also stopped moves to seek redress for alleged statements by P&G that the Anglo- Dutch company's new detergent would damage the clothes it was supposed to clean.

Mortgage loans down

Gross mortgage lending fell to pounds 4.588bn in April from pounds 5.037bn in March, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The council said there had been a slowdown following the April tax rises but it did not believe the housing market would slow significantly.

Seventies rerun

The world could face a rerun of 1970s-style inflation rates if the global recovery in spending accelerates, the London Business School warned yesterday.

Precious out

Wellcome, the pharmaceuticals group, is parting company with John Precious, finance director, but has yet to find a replacement. The company was unable to provide a full explanation for his departure. Mr Precious is non-executive chairman of Celsis International, a biotechnology company.

Chamber work

Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, told the annual conference of the British Chambers of Commerce that one way to make industry more competitive was to improve support services offered by organisations such as chambers of commerce. He said a top priority was to develop a national network of business links to act as a single access point for such services.

Harrington halves

Shares in Harrington Kilbride, the publisher, halved in value yesterday after the company said a pounds 3m bad debt provision meant it had to revise its annual accounts. The provision - relating to debts owed by clients based in Eastern Europe - will send Harrington into losses of pounds 600,000 for 1993. In March the company reported profits of pounds 2.4m.

Canary perches

Eight retailers are to take space at Canary Wharf, the Docklands development in London. The stores include Austin Reed, the shirtmaker Thomas Pink and a Cafe Rouge Brasserie as well as designer-label fashion stores.

World Markets

New York: Shares recovered early losses, prompted by the pay- roll figures, and by the close the Dow Jones Average was up 13.23 points at 3,772.22.

Tokyo: Renewed tension over North Korea's nuclear arms development prompted profit-taking, leaving the Nikkei 225 down 54.81 at 20,954.19.

Hong Kong: The Hang Seng index edged up 9.83 to 9,234.27 in thin trade as investors remained on the sidelines.

Bombay: Share prices surged for the second day, boosting the BSE index 129.53 to 4,053.2.

Sydney: Light buying of blue chips nudged the All Ordinaries index 6.4 ahead at 2,083.4.

Johannesburg: Buying by local institutions propelled the overall index 27 higher at 5,500.

Milan: The Mibtel index eased 7 to 11,709.

Frankfurt: Firmer bond futures lifted the Dax index 18.69 to 2,148.39.

Paris: Late short-covering sent the CAC-40 index soaring 34.36 to 2,041.74.

London: Report, page 14.