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March 19 - IPT general excellence by Pioneer News Group - Issuu

In certain sensitive areas, such as the media, more pre- cise rules apply. But even these can shift. As the Senate committee's report on Fairfax noted with regard to newspa- per ownership: While agreeing that the cur- rent arrangements are not ideal, the multi-party senate committee is split over what should be done. The opposition senators are railing for a new, single foreign investment stat- ute that brings together the different exemptions or limita- tions applying to rliffarant sec- tors such as banking, pierfia and so on.

They would also like the flrb to become a statutory body, allow ed to wiakp binding deci- sions for certain classes of applications which, in turn, would be subject to administra- tive law review. And that, say the system's critics, would at least be a step in the right direction. The pact, which comes Into effect on January 1 , was thrashed out between negotia- tors over the past three years and was signed on the eve of the meeting of Ibero-American heads of state in Cartagena.

Most agricultural products ynH the vehicle industry will have special treatment The car sector, in which ctbwTT flfttomMfln an d Venezue- lan producers fear competition from much larger Mexican competitors, is to be included over a year period and Venezuela will also be given a two-year grace period before it is compelled to dismantle tex- tiles ta riffs. Ecuador has already shown interest in join- ing the G3.

Colombia and Veneznela also hope that the new agree- ment will be a step towards joining the North American Free Trade Agreement which Mexico entered on January 1. Meanwhile, trade between Colombia and Venezuela, which soared during the last two years, has again fallen is recent weeks as a result of a sharp devaluation in the Venezuelan currency.

Siemens of Germany and Mit- subishi of Japan competing for fhe prestigious rail contract. GEC-Alsthom offered a low bid and extensive technology trans- fers to win the contract to provide 46 locomotives whkh will run on a km track between Seoul and the port city of Pusan.

Final de t ai ls of the loan package are being worked out by Japanese and Malaysian officials. Originally an Angio-Japanese consortium made up of Trafalgar House. British Invisibles, which promotes the export uf UK-based financial Institutions and professional and business services, said it estimated that commercial invisibles, consisting of trade In services and income from assets abroad, accounted for British Invisibles said that world invisible trade had increased by per cent in dollar terms since Commercial invisible transactions accounted for Reuter reports from Manama.

Bahrain Petroleum, which runs the ,bar- rots-per-day refinery, is 60 per cent owned by Urn Bahrain govern- ment and 40 per cent by Caltex, which is jointly owned by Texaco Inc and Chevron COrp. Looking for a Career Change? International oil companies interested in participating in this competitive bidding are invited to register their interest not later than the 13rd of June by writing to: Futures, tattces and Kevrt updates 24 hours a day.

For your 7 fay free trial, caH Futures Pager Ltd on now. C-i - Jc-i- v - a zs. For information please contact Philip Wrigley pf'ry: The willingness of the US Congress to provide the money is expected to be increased by new signs from the IMF that it may move to release more of its documents. Some econo- mists and political analysts believe such a gesture would greatly enhance government accountability for economic policy in some of the countries that borrow from the IMF.

Even so, other contributors to the ESAF had made their pledges conditional on the US, which is perpetually in arrears on its international obliga- tions, doing its share. The Commerce Department said retail sales toll 0. The decline foDowed a revised 1. Consumer prices rose 0. Both figures were weaker th an analysts expected, but were in line with other data pointing to a loss of economic vitality in recent months.

The dip in retail spending probably overstated the weakness of consumer spending, which was artificially boosted last year by cash released from refinancing mortgages at lower interest rates. Recent softness mainly reflects a sharp toll in car sales after a very strong first quar- ter. Mr David Rolley, senior economist at DRIjMcGraw Hill, th e forecasting group, said he expected real consumer spend- ing to grow at an annual rate of about 2 per cent in the sec- ond quarter, less than half the pace in the first three months.

Spending, however, would probably rebound in the third quarter given strong recent increases in payroll employ- ment, he said. Core con- sumer price inflation rose at an annual rate of 3.

Caracas closes 8 finance houses By Joseph Mann in Caracas The Venezuelan government yesterday surprised bank depositors by closing eight troubled financial institutions which it had been keeping afloat since early this year. Long lines of sometimes angry depositors formed out- side the closed institutions, which have a combined total of 2m depositors. Some accused the government of defrauding them of their funds.

Even though the govern- ment had been the de facto owner of these institutions for mmp time - ft had Hamamfad shares and other assets in ret urn for fiwanrfal and had appointed its own adiatw ig tr at o r s - the authori- ties felt that the financial aid had reached an unacceptably high level and that the hawfcg could not be property restruc- tured without intervention. The eight banks had lost a large share of their deposits and had finandal losses amounting to several times their capital.

Questions have been raised publicly as to whether some of this money was used improp- erly by the banks while stfll controlled by their former owners. The government had been expected formally to take over the institutions but the deci- sion to shot the banks was not expected. It emphasises the depth of a banking crisis which has done mnch to undermine confidence in the Venezuelan economy this year.

In tite case of Banco latino, the government recapitalised and reopened the institution, paying depositors up to 10m bolivars. However, the author- ities saw no end to the finan- dal aid required by the other eight institutions and ikdijwi to close them down.

Saudi diplomat seeks asylum By Jeremy Kahn in Washington A high-ranking Saudi diplomat at his country's United Nations mission sought asylum in the US yesterday, after accusing his own government of human rights abuses, terrorism and corruption. Mr Mohammed al-Khilewi, a first secretary at the Saudi UN mission in New York, signed an affidavit that he had 14, documents, some of them clas- sified, which reveal a history of terrorism and rights abuses by the Saudi government Among the organisations which Mr Khilewi alleged his government was supporting is Hamas, a radical Moslem group opposed to the peace accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisa- tion.

He further alleged that offi- cials at both the UN mission and the Saudi embassy in Washington bad misused mil- lions of dollars in official funds, depositing them in New York banks and diverting the interest for personal use. There has been no official comment from US or Saudi officials. Mr Khilewi has received mul- tiple threats, warning him to return to Saudi Arabia or be killed, said Mr M i c ha e l Wildes, his attorney. Senate leaders at odds over healthcare Senate leaders told President Clinton that they could not reach consensus in a commit- tee on his healthcare reform plans, but they agreed to con- tinue their work, AP reports from Washington.

Mr Moynihan insisted Clin- ton's healthcare reform plan was not dead. This a large piece of legislation and some of the principles are absolutely essen- tial. Asked if Mr Clinton could achieve universal cover- age for all Americans without forcing employers to buy insur- ance for their workers.

His father, Mr Tony Wilson, a roofer, was badly injured in March when a scaffolding collapsed and he fell three storeys to the ground, breaking his back. Mrs Maria Craig, is on welfare. It is people like them President Bill CHntnn hopes to help with his welfare reform initiative, unveiled yesterday. Although his medical bills were paid, Mr Wilson received no income for the first 18 months after his accident. Mrs Craig, however, is much more representative, according to welfare experts.

Like the majority of welfare recipients, she is white. Along with an eight-year-old daughter, Ash- ley, she was deserted by her husband five years ago. She has never been able to afford a divorce. No member of her family has been on the welfare rolls before. From the age of At present she and her daughter are eligible for Medic- aid.

Yet she would lose all these benefits and her welfare payments if she found a job. Mrs Craig could earn some additional money caring for other children, but would also lose her welfare cheque. The baby is not covered because his father is in the home.

This leads to Mrs Craig's skipping the baby's scheduled visits to the doctor unless he needs immunisation shots or is ill. Mrs Craig would be an ideal candidate for the welfare reform retraining programme proposed by Mr Clinton yester- day.

A high school graduate, she said she would, if given the chance, study for a two-year college degree which would enable her to earn a higher sal- ary. The retraining programme would also pay childcare expenses and allow recipients to retain their healthcare bene- fits. Mr Wilson has been waiting for months for back surgery, which his doctors see as his only hope erf recovery.

I thought I would always have it Instead 1 have to sit here getting stupi- der every day. Sometimes 1 go fishing. Alter two years, they would be required to enrol in a one-year work programme sponsored by the govern- ment. They could re-enrol in work pro- grammes so long as they continued to look for work.

Anyone who turned down a job or did not make adequate efforts to look for work could have his or her benefits stopped. A Defence Ministry official said yesterday: But Mr Fraga said moving swiftly to a professional force should be neither difficult nor costly. He is reforming Argentina's 1S53 constitution so that he may run next year for a second successive term as president but ins administra- tion has been adrift In recent months. He has now skilfully re ga i ne d the initiative.

The armed forces have led six coups since Also in white gold. For a brochure, write to: Co rum, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Uneven By Andrew Taytor and GBDan Tett The uneven pace of the UR economic recovery was h i g hlight ed yesterday by a matted decline in British construction orders in the three months to April and signs of unexpectedly subdued growth of retail sales in May.

A big fell in British construction orders far road, rail and other infra- structure this spring prompted con- cern that the pace of the building and civil engineering recovery may be startin g to slow as public spend- ing cuts begin to take effect pace of recovery confirmed by At the same time the Confedera- tion of British Industry's latest sur- vey of distributive trades showed a drop in the numbers of retailers reporting year on year growth of sates in May compared with April.

The fell disappointed City of Lon- don analysts, who expected the sur- vey to show a continuation, of April's strong sales growth. But tire CBI pointed out that there was little sign that the tax increases in April had yet significantly dented consumer de man d. Economist are anxiously awaiting news today of iflgfc month's unemployment trends and tomorrow's official retail sales data to establish whether Britain's recovery Is maintain tng its vigorous.

Figures published yesterday by the environment department showed that the value of infrastructure orders at constant prices fell by 39 per cent during the three months to the end of April compared with die previous three months. I nfrastru cture orders also were a sixth lower than during the corre- sponding period last year. Construction orders, overall, fell by 14 pm- cent compared with the previous three months although they remained 6 per cent higher than during the corresponding period in More encouraging were rises in private industrial and commercial orders which increased by 16 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively, compared with a year ago.

Private housing orders were also 17 per cent higher than a year ago although 3 per cent lower than dur- ing the previous three months - pro- viding fhrther evidence of a recent wobble in the housing market recov- ery previou s ly re p or ted by building societies and estate agents. A sharp decline in infrastructure orders bad been expected following the bunching of very large contracts placed tor the Jubilee Line extension towards the end of test year.

One reason for the low figure may be the handing over, in April. Of responsibility for awarding road con- tracts from the transport department to the newly created Highway A oanru irhich m. London commuters were' expected to bear the brunt of the dislocation although most of the capital's Underground stations were due to stay open.

London Transport is not planning extra services, hut as it carries 2. Mr John Major, prime minis- ter, answering questions in the House of Commons, indicated extra parking will be made available.

But Mr Chris Leah. The hardening of attitudes between the RMT and Rail- Gatwick lights misled pilots who landed on taxiway The failure of the Civil Aviation Authority to implement recommended changes in lighting systems at London's Gatwick airport was yes- terday held partly responsible tor an incident in when an airliner mistakenly landed on a taxiway. The crew of an Air Malta Boeing , with people on board, at the time, mi si nterpreted ground li ghts o peratin g fhrrin g ni g ht-Hme land- ings and touched down on a parallel taxiway instead of the stand-by ru n w ay they bad been instructed to use.

Disaster was avoided last year because the taxi w ay was empty at the time the aircraft actually landed. It calls for a second review of Gatwick's light- ing systems in order to ensure miwhnnm grounds for confusion among pilots.

The report said that, while some recom- mended modifications to lighting were made after the incident, others bad not been implemented because they were considered by the CAA to be unnecessary at Gatwick. The CAA was also anxious not to adopt a lighting system which was non-standard internation- ally. Rail track accepts that the signalmen have a genuine grievance over their relative pay position.

Mr Knapp, however, said: Who can believe anything they are told after this? Mr Horton, who left British Petroleum with a formi- dable reputation for toughness, has to show that he can create a more modem railway. Under BR the internal pres- sures on the negotiators to keep the trains running while giving away as little as possi- ble would have been strong. But under the newly decen- tralised railway system which is being created, these pres- sures have been made more acute. Fails to provide a working railroad it must compensate the train operating companies.

A failure to keep the trains running puts direct fipagrtal pressures on a company which is hoping to achieve a stock market notation before the nprt election. It Is expect- ing 54J arrivals today. Extra coaches have been laid on and it is trying to alert travellers.

Heathrow, which expects , arrivals today. Is con- nected to London by the ; Underground. Whenever there j is a rail strike it experiences j pressure on car parking. During the last one- i day strike it is thought that ; possibly a third of the , British rafl commuters failed to make the effort However, the last one-day strike was on a Friday, not a Wednesday, j and employers might not view- midweek absenteeism quite so!

Under the terms of the agreement with Camelot, Cad- bury Schweppes has the right to try to advertise Us products in connection with the prize- draws - a connection which could be extended to television for an agreed Tee.

The plan is that confection- ery displays carrying the Cad- bury name, and possibly its products, will be offered as part of the lottery terminal which will dispense and authenticate tickets. Retail- ers could also accept the dis- play and HU it with the prod- ucts of other companies. The scene has so far occurred only in fiction - in a Graham Greene essay five years ago - but it is one that is still taken very seriously by Eurotunnel, the operator. Rich- ard Morris, Eurotunnel safety director says: If we have a major accident we are dead as a company.

The sensitivity sur- rounding the Channel t unnel 's record was brought into focus by the recent temporary sus- pension of Eurotunnel's freight service because of technical problems - the second incident in u days.

At the weekend, hundreds of volunteer passengers took part In a successful evacuation rehearsal, only to be delayed below ground by a power fail- ure affecting the test of a Eurostar train. The earlier two Incidents occurred because of drivers bringing trains to an emer- gency stop in response to warning lights signalling non- existent faults. Eurotunnel argue that over- zealous, as opposed to lax, Jimmy Burns on Anglo-French efforts to safeguard passengers safety requirements were to blame, but the incident wor- ried some potential customers.

Eurotunnel had been naming a ton freight and passenger service and hun- dreds of civilians had suddenly found themselves trapped? Panic at worst, or at best- a decision by some travellers to switch back to the ferries. Over the past year, the com- pany has set itself a strict regime of safety and security, running tests covering equip- ment and operations. The tests have to win the approval of an Anglo-French safety commis- sion before Eurotunnel can be allowed to run a full service.

John Henes, British depart- ment of transport official on the commission, is insistent that there Is no question of the safety certificates being steam- rollered so as to save Eurotunnel in the short-term. The commission is also supervising a series of mock evacuations of tourist passen- gers. No one is guessing when the final green light will be given. Security nffiriaia meanwhile have concentrated their efforts on ensuring that adequate equipment, staff; and opera- tional back-up is in place already to prevent the threat of explosives being smuggled into tiie tunnel.

The advice has evolved from count- less meetings involving police and Intelligence officials on both sides of the Channel. Security is also having teeth- ing problems. Yesterday, senior Home Office and French Ministry of the Interior offi- cials failed to agree on powers of armed French police sta- tioned at Cherrtngton where the tunnel emerges in Britain. The issue may delay the start up of a full passenger service.

One senior French police offi- cer said this week: It is a symbol of the authority of the state. After some dis- cussion it invoked the word rabies to get the agreement of French customs o fficiate not to bring sniffer dogs on trains bound to London. Within the UK, British cus- toms officiate responsible for building up intelligence on potential smugglers have pri- vately complained that they have yet to get as much infor- mation about passengers from Eurotunnel as that which is offered by ferry companies.

Nonetheless, the overall sense one gets from talking to security chiefs on both sides of the Channel is one of consider- able co-ordination, cultural dif- ferences notwithstanding. No one is underestimating the c h alle n ges that lie ahead.

Internationale Ncdcrlanden Group, P. Box , AV Amsterdam. Just 19 per cent of businesses felt their bankers offered value for money, while half expressed dissatisfaction over value from their solicitors and 43 per cent from their accountants. Few advisers explained adequately bow fees were calculated, and accountants were tingled out for most crt iipuiiii over amounts charged.

Bankers and solicitors were also criticised for failing to keep their clients up to date with developments. Three-quarters of companies surveyed believed that their bankers did not understand their business sector, compared with, two-thirds erf solicitors and 43 per cent of accountants.

Mr Brown, a friend of the Malaysian royal family, died of a cerebral haemorrhage while riding an exercise cycle at his home in Cheshire in April He was Texaco enters gas market Texaco is to enter the UK gas market and take advantage of deregulation. Texaco is a big North Sea gas producer, and believes that this will enable It to offer competitive rates. The contract for the cterign. The announcement came a few d;tvs ;ifter PowerGea, the other big UK electricity genera- tor.

Two years ago it was thought the station would cost about E45Gm. The project wilt upgrade generating capacity and meet tightening environ- mental standards. But a report from the Joseph Rownfree Foundation, the social research organisation, says that the receipts are concentrated In areas where there are high council house sales, not the greatest housing need. The only realistic way to increase investment in low-cost housing for rent is for council housing to be transferred to local housing companies, the report says.

Members of the Inland Revenue Staff Federation have voted to accept the deal with EDS which guarantees existing conditions of employment. The onion is particularly pleased that it has a union recognition deal as EDS is known as a non-union company in the US. Unions are winning more such deals in cases of contracting-out, especially where the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment European regulations - known as Tope - apply.

These are being revised in Brussels, and require most of a worker's conditions be maintained when a job is transferred. Unions and private contractors ore seen to be becoming increasingly friendly. Cigar-shaped development The Corporation of London has given planning permission for a , sq ft building at One London Wall in the CSty, The cigar-shaped building was designed by Sir Norman Foster for a joint venture between Stanhope, the UK property company, and Kajima, the Japanese building contractor.

Wind code The UK wind energy industry is to establish best practice guidelines in order to promote development Of wind farms. The industry is responding to mounting controversy over development of farms, often in the face of local opposition.

Is your company interested in public-private joint ventures in the UK, but ignorant about how such ventures work hi the US? If so, yon have a chance to study the topic that interests yon at first band, free. The Financial Times is joining the Commonwealth Fund, a US foundation, to offer a fellowship for up to 12 months to a UK company executive who wants to observe innovation in the US private sector.

He or she will travel the US, seeing bow American companies are responding to competitive pressures, as well as social and demographic changes. If the offer sounds unusual to UK readers, that is because it emerges from a US tradition of private philanthropy largely absent in Britain. The new fellowship is an adaptation of the Commonwealth Fund's existing Harkness Fellowships.

Since , these have offered mid-career British professionals, mostly in the public sector, the opportunity to examine US innovation in their field. In the past three years, this has allowed British doctors to examine the US healthcare system, and education professionals to observe changes in US schools. The Harkness Fellowships, although theoretically open to the private sector, have not attracted many applicants from UK companies. The new fellowship has been devised to broaden the scope of fiu awards.

It will allow a UK company to observe changes in the US through the eyes of a younger executive whom it regards as a future leader in its industry. Among those on the selection panel for tbe award is Howard Davies, direetorganenl of the Confederation of British Industry.

He argues that although the fellowship may not be of direct short-term benefit to a company, ft win gain in tbe longer term through, the participation of a valued employee. Keith Kiihy, director of tbe Harkness Fellowships, says US companies are used to studying social anil political ffihaiifl ft jjj order to adapt their businesses, and the fellowship offers an insight into how they do fjiat- Kirby says that the selection panel, including Ian Hargreaves, deputy editor of the Financial Times, and Sir David Scholey, chairman of the investment hank S.

Warburg, will encourage broad-based proposals. The theme of the fellowship is: John Gapper is banking editor of the Financial Times. He was a Harkness Fellow in - 92 , studying educat i on and training in US schools, colleges and companies. Some past audiences may therefore have felt compelled to applaud because they work fin- him.

Lieven is one of an elite band of busting bosses that includes Trevor Holdsworth, retired chairman of GKN a pianist who has played with orchestras in London , Sony presi- dent Norio Ohga trained opera singer and international conductor in his spare time and Kenichi Ohmae, head of Tnanagtyment con- sultant McKenzie's Tokyo office flautist who performs in Tokyo.

While he makes no simpln con- nections between the disciplines of music and business, Lieven sug- gests that the motivations to play an instrument or head a company may be similar.

So if you are not someone who knows what he wants yon cannot play the piano. Or lead a company. He has been leading the jet-set- ting life of a performer he flies his own aeroplane since , when he met Hannes Keller, a software sup- plier and fellow pianist, at a press conference in SwitsaiandL In , when recording a CD, they were noticed by William Kushner, con- ductor of the Lake Charles Sym- phony in Louisiana, In the US. Kushner invited the pair to play with the orchestra in the US. Indeed, the international piano foundation that he estab- lished at a villa near Lake Como in Italy In - which every year sponsors five pianists to take mas- ter classes with outstanding mud- dans - suggests he is keen to put more into music than he takes out Trained as a classical pianist in his home town of Aachen, Ger- many, where Voids is based today, he won second prize in a dty piano competition at the age of That something else was a mathe- matics course at Aachen University.

There, at the age of 23, he and a friend. Vobis partner Rainer Fral- ing, started a business selling Hew- lett-Packard scientific calculators to classmates. From there fiie company expanded by about 50 per cent a year, opening shops throughout Germany and expand- ing into 10 European countries. The business really took off, though, after Vobis launched its manufacturing divison when an order for Commodore computers failed to show up.

Lieven was des- perate for units and flew to Taiwan to see a computer parts supplier. Id the commercial sector, the risk of losing an entire higher echelon has long been recognised as an issue that has to be addressed.

Companies, says Regester, have to prepare for the worst. Regester warns that the loss of a high-profile director, by accident or otherwise, can be devastating to a company.

Oil company Chevron rules that no more than two out of three of its principal officers can fly on the same aircraft. A total of five directors can fly together but they must comprise no more than two executive and three non-executive directors.

The loss of Estridge, a visionary who had championed the personal computer within IBM, arguing against colleagues who refused to believe that one day a PC would sit on every desk in tbe business world, was keenly felt. By coincidence several other IBM personnel were also on that flight but in spite of tbe personal loss incurred, the crash did not wipe out a significant part of the company's leadership. IBM, which says its precautions predate the Dallas accident, issues an instruction letter on flight safety.

It says no more than three country general managers or heads of divisions should travel on the same flight. Checks are carried out on airline safety. The aim is to ensure that a business jet containing senior staff is only piloted by a very experienced crew. While companies like Chevron and IBM have formal procedures on air travel, elsewhere dividing travelling parties is regarded as too obvious to need spelling out. In January, Nomura's London arm sent 20 top staff in its bonds division to a fixed income conference in Prague.

Mindful of eastern Europe's air safety record, the specialists travelled in three groups on separate flights. Taking a different approach, oil company BP has found that a new emphasis on the use of videoconferencing is one way to reduce corporate air miles.

The armed force view this trend with suspicion, but in the aftermath of the Chinook crash there would at least seem to be some lessons to be learned in the area of air safety. The new scheme will replace the existing Homes Insulation and Energy Grant Schemes and will offer eligible householders grants towards insulating and draughtproofing their homes, and advice on how to use energy more efficiently.

Further information on the scheme and the role of the managing agent will be available to registered organisations on request. London El 8BB on special forms obtainable from rhal office.

Inten al inn i d fewmdtuea. Tramtaiion and uccietarial services. That's where Credit Suisse Financial Products can help. As an authorised bank m the liK, we specialise in developing tailor-made derivative packages for cfients all over die world We work dosdy together to make sure that our s trategies ae well adapted and tiveS understood. FutnreWorld, sponsored by Britain's National Housebuilding Council, invited architects, builders and producers of building products and materials to provide a glimpse of the way homes may operate in the 21st century.

AH of the 36 dwellings have had to comply with UK building and health and safety regulations and are to be sold when the exhibition ends on July Common themes are energy efficiency and conservation of the environment. Builders have opted for materials from renewable or recycled re s ources as much as possible. Specially treated softwoods have been used rather than slow-growing hardwoods Aram diminishing tropical forests. Some properties incorporate Warmcell insulation, produced from recycled newsprint treated with gypsum.

Paints and glues use plant extracts and natural pigments In many developments. Several homes incorporate sophisticated electronic controls. Ihis includes an apartmen t for a disabled person - developed by the Electricity Association. Admiral Homes and the Charter Partnership - which uses an automated system allowing touch or breath control of doors, entertainment systems, telephone, electrical appliances, computer, lights and curtains.

Hie low-allergen house, sponsored by the National Asthma Campaign, filters and warms air entering the house. By changing the air every hour, humidity is reduced to the point at which the house dust mite is destroyed. Water-based and solvent-free paint is used to prevent an allergic reaction.

It combines traditional construction techniques and a custom-built computer system with of basic physics and medieval b uilding desig n. At its heart is a simple convection system incorporating a two-storey glass conservatory covering the south wall of the house.

Air is I mH inside the conserv a tory and rises to be either drawn into the house using a low-power fen or allowed to escape through windows in the conservatory. Cooler air is drawn in through air brides in the northern wall and passed under the bouse by convection. It is either cooled farther or heated depending on the soil temperature under the hn riding Deciduous vines planted inside and outside the conservatory provide shade in summer and inhibit over-heating.

Solar panels in the roof heat water for washing and the underfloor hearing system. Supplementary heat is provided by an oil-fired boiler. The house has been built using concrete block, brick and a timber rl adding. The thick walls, combined with the natural convection flow of the building, help to prevent condensation and damp. The Uruguay Round may be concluded, but it leaves a handful of potential trade conflicts, explains Bronwen Maddox Troubled waters The US is trying to ban imports of Mexican tuna btcuM th nets Mi dolphins However, in Eglin's view, while these potential conflicts attract T his week, the gleaming Geneva headquarters of the secretariat of the Gen- eral Agreement on Tariffs and Trade may look a little scuffed.

Officials, stm worn a fter the mara- thon of the Uruguay Round, opened their doors at the weekend to odd envi ronmentalis ts and politi- cians from more than countries. The subject was one of the most troublesome legacies of the recent- ly-concluded Uruguay Round of trade liberalisation measures: Peter Sutherland, director-general of the Gait secretariat, left dele- gates in so doubt that, in his view, the environment would have suf- fered if the Uruguay Round had failed, because economic prospects in developing countries would have Hoon Hatrmpd Nevertheless, developed countries are still anxious that Gatt win erode hard-won environmental standards, w tiflp itoniln p m g w umhidfi fear that these standards are protectionism in disguise.

Gatt has set up a com- mittee, due to meet for the second thug next Tnrnith, to address these worries and to tackle clashes between trade and environmental prrtiripias a s they arise. According to Richard ft g iin , direc- tor of Gaft's trade and environment division, po tential conflicts fail into three categories.

These Include the Montreal Protocol on curbing sub- stances which damage the ozone layer; the Cites convention on trade in endangered species; and the Rggip convention on trade in haz- ardous waste. Each of these treaties appears to give signatories the right to ban imports which have been manufac- t u re d in an pn im -nnmpntaHy damag- ing way, even if the products them- selves are not damaging. For example, in a hypothetical case cited by lawyers in Geneva, signatories to the Montreal Protocol might try to block imports of Tai- wanese electronics, as Taiwan is not a signatory to the protocol, even if Taiwan argued that the circuit boards were cleaned with ozone-safe substances.

The now notorious conflict between the US and Mexico on tuna fishing falls firmly under this head- ing. Under the terms of the US Marine Mammal Act, the Americans want to ban imports of Mexican tuna because the fishing nets also kill dolphins. This week Geneva is due to send out to Gatt signatories the conclusions of its second panel on the dispute. Tim panel, it has widely been leaked, has again ruled that the US is wrong.

One of the fiercest battiogroundi: Developing countries ore also concerned about EU eco-labelling proposals, which would label goods with a descrip- tion of the environmental Impact of their manufacture. Bat Gatt secretariat officials stressed that while they are expect- ing appeals from countries which believe their products are excluded' from markets by European environ- mental rules, it may prove hard to enforce Gatt principles. For example, some delegates suggested, a non-nuclear country might wont to ban imports of elec- tricity produced by nuclear power.

These issues will clearly embroil veterans of the Uruguay Round in farther years or committee meet- ings. Concentration on dearly defined whole- sale banking sectors again produced good results for Luxembourg-based Deutsche Girozentrale International 5 A in Active prindpally on the Euromoney and Eurocredit market, we boosted total assets ment funds of Deka International SA.

Luxembourg, which recorded major growth during the year. Despite narrow margins in a highly competitive market environment, the Bank's earnings progressed satisfactorily. A large part of this growth was attributable to an increase of DM 0. Interbank business showed significantgains, and lending to European public-sector borrowers was stepped up considerably. The year saw increased activity in the innovative market segments as well.

Deutsche Girozentrale International SA is also the custodian bank for the invest- and commission income were up substantially, and trading operations were again positive. Net profit for the year amounted to DM 7. Backed by quality financial and human resources, plus dear goals, Deutsche Giro- zentrale International S. The two moves highlight the contrasting views of the viabil- ity of independent research firms in London.

Roche, whose old employer is one of his big- gest clients, says that it is absurd to think all research should be conducted in-house. However, Nightingale's experi- ence raises the question of w hether institutional investors are prepared to pay for research which they can get free from the big brokerage firms.

Although his new employer is heavily biased towards Far Eastern business. Nightingale will continue to offer a world- wide investment view. It would con- tinue to use a number of dif- ferent law firms to provide external legal services. John Healy has already done ster- ling work over the past year and a half providing a new style for MSP. He left BA to become chief executive of Innocan.

Owen spent a total of 2l years with British Airways, his time there culminating with his assisting in the manage- ment of the acquisition and merger with British Caledo- nian in Morecombe and Wise hoofing it np in their heyday D eclare that there was a golden age of television in the late s and early '70s and those who run television today - especially the accoun- tants - accuse you of wearing rose tinted spectacles.

Well, the BBC has recently enabled us to make such a comparison, in comedy at any rate, and the evidence suggests that the accountants are wrong.

Bring Me Sunshine which was absolutely right. Moreover, that title emphasised the fact that these men were - in the case of Ernie Wise, still are - not just comedians, but enter- tainers who certainly wanted to make you laugh, yet, beyond that, to bring s unshine into your life.

The difference between them and today's comedy entertain- ers was, surely, their back- ground. True, they did stand-up routines; their televi- sion show always began that way, but music played a bigger part.

Before long they have a straw hat and sil- ver tapped cane apiece and are into the sort of soft-shoe rou- tine that every entertainer of that generation seems to have learned as a juvenile. Go to the other side of the shop and look at this pin. Ernie instructed, holding up nothing. The minute Eric's back was turned Ernie whipped out a three-foot pin from under the counter. That, essentially, was the gag but, in the tradition of panto- mime, they it expertly until the audience was falling - about.

In all those sketches where the two stars perpetually pre- tended to upstage their emi- nent guests, they actually did precisely the opposite and made them look good. As for the people who now m fl k e situation come- dies, the example set by Gallon and Simpson in Steptoe And Son seems to have been forgot- ten. T he picture quality of The Lost Steptoes has been poor, unsurprisingly, per- haps, since they were non-professional copies, abandoned for years in some- body's cellar the BBC haring destroyed the originals, of course.

However, the high quality of the writing is still unmistakable. In the episode shown last week Harold, the arm , has difficulty breaking it to his lather, Albert, that Her- cules, the horse that has always pulled their rag and bone cart, has died in the shafts and been unceremoni- ously removed - "For cat's meat! Albert has always been the horse lover while Harold knows himself to be suspected of mistreating the antmal. The point is that here, as in so many Steptoe scripts, the divi- sion between comedy and trag- edy is about as substantial as morning mist Mother's Buin is also about an adult son firing with a par- ent, this time Leslie FHtcroft with his mother.

He Boy Bar- ra dough, late of Coronation Street. The set up may be no Ipss anthantir. We are Invited to laugh at a schoolboy suicide attempt in which the pQls turn out to have been laxatives. All change is not progress. Mitri- date has enjoyed recent success at Covent Garden and 22 re pastors drew enthusiasm at Opera North, but it is hard to imagine more alive and per- suasive early Mozart than Tim Alber- ts staging at La finta giardiniera, which opened at Cardiff's New Thea- tre on Monday, Welsh National Opera having taken over Opera North's orig- inal production.

In its blend of comic and serious styles it foreshad- ows Cost fan tutte and, especially. Finta deserves respect, and gets it from Albery. Albery convinces one of its dra- matic riabifityi which in fact is not consistently strong. He draws intense performances from each, singer. In her WNO debut, Joan Rodgers as Sandrina - the disguised gardener of the title, really a Countess - gives a heart- melting performance. Her creamy soprano plumbs depths of emotion, she sings with poise befitting the nobility Sandrina conceals.

Ryland Davies celebrates the 30th anniversary of his first WNO appear- ance as a properly comic Mayor, and sings with a fine sense of musical style. The mezzo Ann Taylor-Morley, a rapidly emerging talent, is fresh and impetuous in the trouser role of Ramiro, and the baritone Neal Davies an appealing Nardo. Finta is a long opera, but it files past in this stylish performance and because words - Amanda Holden's lively translation is used - are projected with such clarity.

By the turn of the 18th century the middle plasms in Dresden were sufficiently well-off to enjoy widespread domestic music-making and a large amount of their chamber music and songs has come down to us. Neumann and Weber, Relssiger and Marschner were among the composers most active there, usually involved with the court opera. Bfir included songs by each of them in his Wigmore Hall recital on Monday and gave a good idea of the sturdy Teutonic musical diet a Dresden family might have favoured after dinner around By and large there are good reasons why we do not hear many of these songs today.

One poet after another sets out for the hills, roams across green meadows, listens to the hunting-horns and generally finds his words set to an unremarkable melody supported by four-square harmony. In short, these are generic pieces ami Bar treated them in a generic way.

Much more interesting was the combination of songs by Robert and Clara Schumann, husband and wife, also Dresden-based, after the interval. Bdr found more to engage him in these and the Robert Schumann songs. Perhaps the ever-supportive Geoffrey Parsons as accompanist might challenge Bfir to give more. Every time I saw him I told him just to keep on doing his thing rather than trying to play what we were playing over here.

After a while I think he started listening to me because Us playing got better. Prior to that he had studied at the Guildhall In London after John Dankworth secured him a place there. He, like a number or his fellow blade jazz musicians, including Dollar Brand and Dudu Pukwana, had been forced to leave Johannesburg in i by the strictures of apartheid.

And like them, just as Davis advised, Masekela has retained the distinctive musical colours of the townships to combine variously with his bebop, big band and funk influences. Masekela squeezing sparks out of the horn to the encouragement of an ullulating audience is electrifying. The close, with Masekela tragically intoning the story of the Gold Train, is a lesson in how to bnild up a song for maximum effect London is lucky to have been a spiritual home to musicians like Masekela during the bad years.

While it seems likely that the death of apartheid will mean that we in London will see less of Masekela, more of South Africa's unfettered danring-in-your-head jazz will surely come our way from those he is now free to encourage.

The Regentenbau orporates four elegant concert la, and there is also a de-si ecle theatre Kissinger rimer. Sun morning, Mon and Tues evenings: Kurt Moll song recital. Tomorrow, Sun, next Wed: Nabucco with Julia Varady and Alain Fondary. Sat Munich Philharmonic Festival Sun: Stretching from Westeriand In the north to Hamburg in the south, the festival embraces everything from family music days in country bams to high culture.

This year's programme places a special emphasis on Jewish music. There are visits from the Israel Philharmonic and Jerusalem Symphony Orchestras, and performances of music by Jewish composers banned during the Nazi era, plus Mendelssohn and Mahler. Beryl Grey's production of Sleeping Beauty. Sat Natalia Makarova's production of La Bayadere. New York and Paris. Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Chi- cago.

France, Ger- many, Scandinavia Thursday: Italy, Spain, Athens, London, Prague. FT Reports Sky News: FT Reports , London Electricity, which serves the capital, should kick off the results season today with another set of impressive figures. Its profits performance has contributed to the shares more than doubling In value since flotation in Back in , the power industry was viewed by the City as a safe but dull invest- ment.

London is not excep- tional among power compa- nies, most of which have performed similarly. However, the good times may be coming to an end. Professor Stephen Little- child, the industry regulator, will shortly announce the results of a review of the pric- ing regime which helps! Prof Littlechild is reviewing the distribution prices of the 12 regional companies and the two Scottish power companies, privatised In L Distribution accounts for more than 80 per cent of the companies' profits in England and Wales, and 40 and 20 per cent respectively at Scottish Power and Scottish Hydro-Electric.

While the review is impor- tant both for the companies and the customers, for whom distribution costs constitute a quarter of their electricity bills, it also has wider implica- tions.

Increasingly, countries from the Pacific Rim to South America are privatising their utilities. Since the UR has been in the forefront of transferring electricity, telecommunications and water to the private sector, its regulation model is studied both for its qualities and its shortcomings.

The perceived shortcomings have come to notice recently as critics, including Mr John Baker, chief executive of National Power, the main elec- tricity generating company. A friend had accumu- lated a s imil ar amount. They wanted to open their own res- taurant. Did Mr Ackerman think the time was right? Mr Ackerman, president of the Restaurateurs Association of Great Britain, says a grow- ing number of people have decided it is the right time to open a London restaurant.

In the past two months. During the same period last year, fewer than 10 opened. Two London-based restau- rant groups have been Floated on the stock exchange in recent months: Several chains plan to expand. Chez G6rard wants to increase its restaurants from seven to 14 over the next three years.

By the end of the year, it expects to have double that number. Mr Joel Kiss in. However, staff turn- over at the restaurants began to rise and Mr Kissin noticed it was becoming more diffi cult to hire waiters, suggesting busi- ness had improved elsewhere. Other restaurants have noticed greater employee movement too. T he recovery in City restaurant business is more noticeable than in the West End. Mr Mark de Wesselow, publisher of Square Meal, a guide to City restaurants, says City employ- ees are eating out more than staff at West End businesses, such as advertising agencies.

There are, nevertheless, signs of increasing business throughout London. Mr Acker- man's list of new restaurants includes suburban establish- ments north and south of the river.

One of the factors encouraging new entrants is the property downturn, which has resulted in lower rents. Even in the City, however, restaurateurs have had to make adaptions to benefit from the upturn.

Mr Brown says it is difficult to get a decent return from a City restaurant which is open only for lunch, and not on weekends. When you take bank holidays Into account. City lunchtime restaurants are open on average 4. People will not stay in the City for an evening meaL Mr Brown says.

But they will stay for a drink and a little food. At lunch times, his cus- tomers have a light meal and non-alcoholic drinks.

In the evenings, they drink alcohoL Several of the new London restaurants offer an attraction in addition to food, such as live music. Outside the city centre, restau- rants are attracting a younger clientele, looking for entertain- ment as well as a meal. He says the most successful establishments are in the cheap or mid-price range, appealing both to diners who were too young to go to restau- rants when the recession began and to older customers looking for less expensive places to eat Mr Abraham wonders, how- ever.

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