Business and City in Brief

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Bank of England figures showing falls in the number and value of approved mortgage loans in the third quarter confirmed that the housing market was still weak, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said.

The number of loans approved fell 10 per cent to 257,000 while value dropped by a similar amount to pounds 13.5bn. 'For 1993 as a whole it now seems unlikely net new lending will match even the subdued level experienced in 1992,', Adrian Coles, the council's director-general, said.


Eddie George, Governor of the Bank of England, last night urged business people to pursue higher profits through increased volumes and use of capital equipment rather than higher profit margins. This would allow interest rates to be held down for longer. He told the 100 Group of finance directors that companies were still pursuing the sort of rates of return appropriate to a high-inflation world.


The Treasury said in its latest monthly monetary report that inflation was subdued and the growth rate of the narrow money supply measure M0 - largely cash - appeared to be stabilising at around 5 per cent. The Central Statistical Office's longer leading indicator continued to point to slower growth in late 1994.


Twelve times the available shares in Roxboro, the electronics components maker seeking stock market flotation, have been applied for.


Nymex, New York's energy futures market, today launches its Access after-hours electronic trading system in London, enabling British traders and firms to use Nymex markets directly.


French car makers' production dropped 20.9 per cent in September compared with the same month in 1992, while exports slipped 8.5 per cent. For the first nine months of 1993 production dropped 13.1 per cent to 2.18 million cars and exports fell 11.1 per cent to 1.41 million.


The US Securities and Exchange Commission voted to extend exemptions it granted Daimler- Benz last month to other foreign companies, making it easier for international firms to list securities on American stock markets and raise capital in the US.


NEW YORK: Profit taking, programme selling and a weak bond market fuelled a late selling spree. The Dow Jones average closed 35.77 points down at 3,661.87, having fallen over 50 points at one stage.

TOKYO: Closed (holiday).

HONG KONG: Heavy profit-taking drove the Hang Seng index down 290.8 points to 9,352.11.

SYDNEY: Shares closed weaker but off their lows. The All Ordinaries lost 16.8 points to 2,108.4.

BOMBAY: Speculative buying lifted the index 18.73 to 2,630.98.

JOHANNESBURG: A weaker financial rand and firmer gold price led to steady gains. The overall index added 31 points to 3,945.

FRANKFURT: After passing 2,100 at one stage, profit-taking in moderate trade lowered the DAX index 11.22 points to 2,084.36.

PARIS: The CAC-40 index edged up 1.45 points to 2,171.16.

ZURICH: Insurers led shares higher. The SPI rose 8.4 to 1,730.03.

MILAN: A late dip by Fiat on arbitrage connected with its rights issue increased market weakness.

LONDON: Report, page 38.