In Brief

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The German recession has so far failed to dent significantly the performance of the country's leading banks. Dresdner, the country's second-largest bank, said it would raise DM200m through a 2-for-19 rights issue after reporting that operating profit last year rose more than the 13 per cent forecast last autumn.

Bayerische Vereinsbank, the next-largest, said group net profits rose to DM448m in 1992 from DM368m, while Commerzbank, fourth-largest, said group net profits rose to DM838m from DM547m. All three will maintain their dividends.

dollars 1.2bn DRUGS DEAL

Procordia, the Swedish drugs company, will buy Farmitalia and Erbamont Incorporated of Italy, creating one of Europe's top 10 pharmaceutical groups in a deal valued at dollars 1.2bn. Procordia will acquire from Montedison 51 per cent of Farmitalia Carlo Erba and Montedison-controlled Erbamont in the US for dollars 480m, merging them with its drugs arm, Kabi Pharmacia. It has an option to acquire the remaining 49 per cent of the two firms by 1995 and will take over Farmitalia and Erbamont debts totalling a further dollars 480m.


Debbie Moore's Pineapple fitness and fashion group, once the darling of the stock market before she took the core business private in 1988, has been forced to close some outlets because of poor trading and lack of capital. Three shops and one dance studio are to be shut. Stoy Hayward the accountants, are advising on a restructuring.


Charles Donovan, British Gas' former senior managing director, has been paid compensation of pounds 350,000 following his departure last year. Mr Donovan resigned after it emerged that Cedric Brown, then also senior managing director, was to become the company chief executive.


Hongkong Land, the property company with a 20.2 per cent stake in Trafalgar House, lifted pre-tax profits from dollars 344.1m to dollars 355.3m in the year to December, while net assets increased by 18.2 per cent to dollars 1.95. The company will exercise its option to raise its stake in Trafalgar to 27 per cent. Simon Keswick, chairman, said property earnings would remain flat in 1993.


Mitsubishi Corporation will report a Y28bn special loss in the year to 31 March to cover stock investment losses at MC Finance, a subsidiary.


Bank of Edinburgh, a venture backed by Scottish Amicable, has pulled out of its attempt to acquire the Heart of England Building Society because of protracted delays.


The Accounting Standards Board plans to exempt insurance firms from complying with the FRS3 requirements for the treatment of gains and losses. Insurers will have to comply with a European Community directive on accounts, and applying FRS3 might necessitate their making significant changes twice within three years.


NEW YORK: Blue chips recouped most of an early 30-point fall on growing unease about developments in Russia, enabling the Dow Jones Average to close down just 8.10 points at 3,463.48.

TOKYO: The Nikkei Average improved 247.22 to 18,784.39 on buying by overseas mutual funds.

HONG KONG: Light profit-taking clipped 28.30 from the Hang Seng index to 6,060.04.

SYDNEY: Fears of a sell-off on Wall Street lopped 12.8 off the All Ordinaries index to 1,664.3 in thin volume.

JOHANNESBURG: Gold shares held early gains to boost the gold index 24 to 1,163.

MILAN: Heavy selling of blue chips on nervousness over the government's stability depressed the MIB index 3.01 per cent to 1,064.

FRANKFURT: Concern over the political situation in Russia prompted a 36.41-point retreat in the DAX index to 1,657.11.

PARIS: Investors took profits after the French election results, leaving the CAC-40 23.41 points lower at 1,939.28.

LONDON: Report, page 24.