Three Arthur Andersen partners were yesterday called in as administrators to Virtuality Group, the first company to bring virtual reality technology to the stock market. Virtuality's shares were suspended at 68.5p last week pending clarification of its financial position. The administrators said they intended to restructure the company and focus on its core business of headsets, which recently won a $10m (pounds 6m) contract with Philips. David Duggins, one of the administrators, said: "The headsets, which are compatible with personal computers and leading games consoles, have a potentially enormous market, thus generating substantial royalty streams in the future."

A pounds 700m contract for the development and production of the RAF's new stand-off attack was signed yesterday. Matra BAe Dynamics - a joint venture between British Aerospace and Matra of France - won the competition against stiff US competition last summer. The Storm Shadow will be fitted to RAF Tornados, Eurofighters and Harrier GR7 jump-jets to attack high-value targets without having to enter heavily defended enemy airspace.Work will secure jobs at company sites at Stevenage, Bristol and Lostock as well as more than 80 sub-contractors across the country.

Hopes of a counter-bid emerging for Clyde Petroleum evaporated as predator Gulf Canada raised its stake in the oil exploration and production firm to about 27 per cent. Gulf's buying activity comes after recent steep falls in crude oil prices, which may have driven investors into the arms of the bidder. Market Report, page 18

Scottish Amicable said yesterday in a letter to policyholders that it had had expressions of interest from more suitors than Abbey National and the Prudential, the two which have gone public on their offers. The mutual insurer said it would seek formal offers from all interested suitors and would take independent financial advice during the selection process. The objective was to maximise financial benefits for with-profits policyholders, "taking into account both short-term and long-term returns".

Allied Irish Banks denied market speculation that it was interested in acquiring the US banking group Riggs National. AIB's results for the year to December exceeded analysts' expectations and the bank said a strong performance in all divisions drove pre-tax profits up by 13 per cent to Irpounds 421m (pounds 412m). But profit-taking and concern about the impact of the planned acquisition of Dauphin Deposit of Pennsylvania for $1.36bn pulled

the shares 2p lower.

The cable industry will be making profits "as the City understands them" by the year 2000, Stephen Davidson, chairman of

the Cable Communications Association, told MPs on the Trade and Industry Select Committee investigating regulation. Mr Davidson said the industry had invested pounds 6bn so far and would invest the same again to the year 2000.

Allied Domecq, the distiller and food retailer, said performance in the first half of the fiscal year would be hurt by the strength of the pound, though profit growth would improve in the second half. The strong pound could cut pounds 20m from full-year earnings.

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