Business & City Summary

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Eurotunnel settles with Bombardier

Eurotunnel announced the terms of an agreement with the Canadian transport equipment manufacturer Bombardier, resolving one of the last big disputes that could have delayed opening of the Channel tunnel service.

Analysts said the settlement represented about half the pounds 400m Bombardier had sought.

Coal sell-off attacked

The Bill for the privatisation of British Coal contains insufficient safeguards for pensioners and continuing employees, trustees of British Coal's staff superannuation scheme said. The Bill was also attacked by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for failing to give homeowners enough protection against damage from coalmining subsidence.

More Germans jobless

Western Germany's unemployment rate rose to 7.8 per cent in November from 7.6 per cent in October, the Federal Labour Office said. Eastern Germany's unemployment rate decreased to 15.1 per cent in November from 15.3 per cent in October.

OK for Greycoat plan

Shareholders of the troubled Greycoat property group have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a rescue plan that will see an pounds 86m cash injection from UK Active Value Fund, the investment vehicle of Julian Treger and Brian Myerson.

Compensation talks

Staff at the Investors Compensation Scheme are ready to discuss compensation procedures with customers of four investment firms that were formerly members of Fimbra but that have been declared in default. They are AM Lubin and A Penn, trading as APAL Financial Services; Chartered Financial Services; MS Insurance Services and Special Needs Consultancy.

PacTel stampede

The first day of trading in the shares of the US cellular telephone company PacTel saw a stampede to acquire the stock, which soared by 12.5 per cent on the heaviest trading volume of any company on the NYSE.

Spanish reforms

Spain's government approved a series of labour reforms despite union threats of a general strike. It said the reforms would create jobs by encouraging investment.

Forte appointment

Forte has appointed Stefan Bokaemper managing director of Exclusive Hotels Worldwide, responsible for managing Forte's 16 luxury hotels. he joins from Inter-Continental Hotels, where he was executive vice-president.

Oil search

A consortium including British Gas and several big oil companies has been formed to research the exploration potential in the Kazakhstan area of the Caspian Sea.

World Markets

New York: Shares marked time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, after dipping below 3,700, closed 1.96 points higher at 3,704.07.

Tokyo: Late index-linked buying recouped early losses to leave the Nikkei average just 0.6 of a point higher at 17,459.35.

Hong Kong: Moderate trade, with investors awaiting China's reaction to British reform proposals, lifted the Hang Seng index 56.15 points to 9,294.35.

Sydney: Recovering from an early decline, the All Ordinaries index edged up 0.1 to 2,047.4.

Bombay: Caution after the recent scramble to buy pulled the index down 58.78 to 3,224.58.

Johannesburg: Weakness in gold stocks helped to lower the overall index 11 points to 4,262.

Frankfurt: Chemical stocks led the market to a new closing high, with the DAX index adding 10.08 points to 2,120.61.

Paris: The CAC-40 index climbed 27.95 points to 2,188.4.

Zurich: The SPI gained 15.31 to 1,782.8, another record.

London: Report, page 20.