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The Independent Online
Bifu warns Barclays

Bifu, the banking union, warned Barclays Bank yesterday that staff shortages are reaching crisis point, following cuts of 16,000 jobs since 1991.

Barclays is expected to announce half-year pre-tax profits of pounds 700m- pounds 750m today, against pounds 335m last time, and Bifu is urging the bank to use these earnings to halt future cuts. Barclays plans to cut another 5,000 jobs by the end of 1995.

Opec output falls

Oil production by Opec nations in July fell 330,000 barrels a day from June to 24.69 million barrels, the weekly Middle East Economic Survey newsletter said. The report attributed the fall to a 150,000 barrels per day reduction in Nigeria's production and a 200,000 bpd decline in Iran's output.

German M3 revised

German M3 money supply grew at an annualised rate of 11.4 per cent in June, final figures released by the Bundesbank showed. The annualised rate was revised up slightly from a provisional 11.3 per cent growth rate. The rise is calculated by comparing annualised M3 growth with the average level of the last quarter of 1993.

Acquiring Acatos

Acatos & Hutcheson is in talks with one of its suppliers, which may result in the acquisition of a 22 per cent stake in the edible fats and oils group. Acatos & Hutcheson said that it hoped to make a further announcement soon.

Share offer accepted

Towles, the textiles group, has agreed a 275p-a-share cash offer from London City Equities, an Australian-owned investment vehicle. Towles directors have accepted the bid on behalf of 34 per cent of the equity.

Disney video deal

Walt Disney Co and three regional telephone companies - Ameritech, BellSouth and Southwestern Bell - said they had signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture to develop interactive video services supplied to the home. These could include existing broadcast and satellite television networks, movies on demand, interactive home shopping, educational programmes, games and travel assistance.

Refinancing talks

Kvaerner, the Norwegian shipbuilding group, is in refinancing talks with a customer in Greece which cannot pay for an order. Kvaerner did not name the customer, but called the situation undramatic and said there was no reason to change its 1994 result forecasts.

World Markets

New York: Firm bond markets and a stronger dollar helped shares, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 6.79 points at 3,753.81.

Tokyo: In one of the quietest days of the year the Nikkei average rose 114.13 to 20,635.83.

Hong Kong: The new index that tracks Chinese state firms listed in Hong Kong rose more than 2 per cent on its debut. Meanwhile, the Hang Seng index dropped 64.34 points to 9,537.87.

Sydney: Weaker bonds and Wall Street's Friday fall combined to pull the All Ordinaries index down 10.8 points to 2,081.1.

Bombay: Low-volume trade saw the index ease 4.23 to 4,297.34.

Johannesburg: Optimism about gold price prospects helped the index up 30 points to 5,758.

Frankfurt: Dull trade dampened by US factors ended with the DAX just 0.08 lower at 2,184.67.

Paris: Prices eased in early trade but rallied to end with the CAC- 40 index 0.73 off at 2,106.34.

Zurich: The SPI added 9.15 points to 1,735.38 in thin trade.

London: Report, page 24.

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