Business Information Service: This Week

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The Independent Online
MONDAY: Stakis, the hotels, nursing homes and casinos operator, has renewed operational strength with management changes, cost-cutting measures and asset disposals. After a pounds 47.4m loss in 1991, County NatWest is forecasting final losses of just pounds 300,000 this time.

TUESDAY: Estimates of the current account deficit range from pounds 1.3bn to pounds 1.6bn - a sharp widening of the trade deficit as the decline in exports outstrips the fall in imports.


SUNDAY: John Major hailed the Edinburgh summit of EC leaders as 'the summit that would put the Community back together'. He pledged to complete ratification of the treaty 'hard on the heels' of the second Danish vote.

MONDAY: British Airways' purchase of Dan-Air is to be scrutinised by the European Commission.

Fisons sold its UK consumer healthcare business to Hoffman-La Roche for pounds 90m.

TUESDAY: IBM announced it would shed 25,000 jobs next year, resulting in a dollars 6bn ( pounds 3.9bn) charge against fourth- quarter earnings. It came on top of the dollars 5.4bn charges already planned this year.

The simmering disagreement between Transmanche Link and Eurotunnel resurfaced. TML claimed that Eurotunnel's pounds 1.2bn offer in settlement of the cost overrun on fixed equipment and fitting-out of the tunnel was inadequate.

Shares in Wace, the pre- press and specialist printing group, fell by 33 per cent to 52p after the company issued a profit warning and declared a pounds 37m property write-down.

The Bank of France and the Bundesbank intervened to support the French franc.

WEDNESDAY: Seeboard announced a 53 per cent rise in pre-tax earnings and a 14 per cent dividend increase. Northern Electric's interim pre-tax profit increase was 52 per cent.

Owners Abroad, the UK's second largest travel operator, linked up with Thomas Cook Group and its German parent, LTU Group.

Pressure on the French franc forced France's main commercial banks to raise their base rates to 10 per cent, up more than half a percentage point.

THURSDAY: Barclays said it was writing off pounds 240m owed by Imry, the property group.

British Airways acquired a 25 per cent stake in Qantas, the Australian airline, for pounds 291m.

Robert Horton, chairman and chief executive of BP until June, joined British Rail as non- executive vice-chairman.

British manufacturers reported a slight improvement in orders but unemployment reached 2.91 million.

FRIDAY: Asda, the supermarket group, turned a pounds 68m loss into profits of pounds 58m and Tesco paid pounds 150m for a chain of food stores in northern France.

Depressed figures for bank and building society lending in November were ignored by the stock market, where nearly pounds 11bn was added to the value of London shares.