The Week In Business

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The Independent Online
Monday saw the launch of the Alternative Investment Market for small company shares, but trading was sluggish to begin with as many of the stocks could already be bought under the Stock Exchange's Rule 4.2.

British Aerospace dropped out of the race for VSEL, leaving the way clear for GEC to absorb the submarine maker. Shareholders objected to a pounds 32m pay deal for WPP's Martin Sorrell. Lonrho and South Africa's Gencor announced plans to merge their platinum interests. The Securities and Investments Board unveiled its vision of equity markets for the next decade.

The electricity regulator, Professor Stephen Littlechild, hinted that the power price regime could become tougher.

BT launched its pilot video-down-the-phone-line service. The Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development predicted that British base rates could have to rise to 8 per cent to contain inflation. The Confederation of British Industry reaffirmed its commitment to European monetary union.

Sir Richard Greenbury, the Marks & Spencer chairman heading the Government- backed inquiry into top salaries, received a 17 per cent pay rise last year. Currency and stock markets reacted relatively calmly to the news of John Major's resignation as leader of the Tory Party.