Business news in brief

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to an all-time high in late trading to close at 7213.68, up 142.5 on the day. The late burst was prompted by a wave of computer-generated buy orders and the jury decision in favour of the tobacco industry. In London, City dealers will be braced for a busy day's trading with markets juggling Wall Street's rise with the possibility of an interest rate tomorrow.

The two rival bidders for Thomson-CSF, the state-owned French defence group, are expected to submit final bids tomorrow. Alcatel Alsthom, the electronics and telecommunications group, is launching a joint bid with the privately owned Dassault Industries. The other bidder is Lagardere, the industrial conglomerate. Daimler-Benz Aerospace and GEC, which was barred by the French government from bidding directly, have been in talks with both bidders over joint deals.

The number of mergers and acquisitions in Northern Ireland rose 17 per cent last year, according to a new report from the mergers and acquisitions specialist, Company Broking Consultants. Companies based outside Northern Ireland accounted for over 40 per cent of the 48 changes of ownership in the area, representing an investment of around pounds 250m in the economy.

Great North Eastern Railway (GNER) yesterday opened what it claims is the UK's largest rail telesales office, employing 250. The new pounds 750,000 centre is expected to take 1.3 million ticket bookings during its first year of operation, handling 25,000 telephone reservations for travel on high-speed services between London, Yorkshire, the North-east and Scotland.

Regent Pacific Group Limited, the Hong Kong emerging markets investment house in which Hambros Bank has a 3.5 per cent stake, launches its initial public offering today at HK$ 2.62 a share. The launch of a HK$ 447m placing and new issue values the company at HK$ 2.494bn. The announcement co-incides with the possibility that Hambros may face legal action over its role in Andrew Regan's failed pounds 1.2bn bid for the Co-op.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Sales Team Leader - Wakefield, West Yorkshire

£21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders