City&FinanceBriefing London Lite Monday, 5 October 2009 45 Inbrief Bollywood firm boosted by hits l Bollywood film producer Eros International today said second- quarter trading was strong, boosted by popular releases including Kambakkth Ishq. The AIM-listed company said that it had overcome the impact of a two- month strike in the Bollywood film industry and added that it expects to cut net debt by the end of the year. Cussons afloat in strong trade l BrITAIns bathrooms are still awash with Carex soap, Charles worthington shampoo and The sanctuary-branded lotions and potions, according to owner PZ Cussons. It said trading in the three months to october was strong and sales in nigeria, its largest market, are performing well. PZCussons said it is cautiously optimistic for full-year results. Fees bonanza as Aviva floats arm l MorGAn stanley and Goldman sachs were looking forward to another fees bonanza after insurer Aviva brought forward plans to float its dutch arm. Aviva said in August it was looking at listing delta lloyd on Euronext, selling between 30% and 49% of it to outside investors in the process. Today Aviva said it expected the float to be completed in november. Hunt for Europe head at Morgan l JPMorGAn has started an internal hunt for a new head of its European operations after the departure of its london-based co- head of investment banking Bill winters. Among those in the frame for the role are Klaus diederichs, chairman of European investment banking and Anthony Best, global head of fixed income sales. Australia Dollars 1.7318 Canada Dollars 1.6414 Denmark Kroner 7.7512 Eurozone Euro 1.0444 Hong Kong Dollars 11.6900 Japan Yen 135.6000 New Zealand Dollars 2.0759 South Africa Rand 11.4800 Sweden Kronor 10.7100 Switzerland Francs 1.5778 UAE Dirham 5.4767 United States Dollars 1.5175 TourisT rATEs UP 8.26 at 4996.96 FTsE 100 dow jonEs nikkEi -$ DOWN 21.61 at 9487.67 DOWN 57.38 at 9674.49 UP 0.08 at $1.5954 >>For all the latest City share prices, call 0905 817 1694* or visit * Calls cost 75p/min from a BT landline & last approx 1 min per quote. not all stocks are available dr doom in market warning Nouriel roubiNi, who was dubbed Dr Doom after he predicted the financial crisis, today warned that stock and commodity markets are poised to fall as the slow pace of economic recovery disappoints investors. Markets have gone up too much, too soon, too fast, said the New York university professor. i see the risk of a correction, especially when the markets realise the recovery is not rapid and V-shaped, but more like u-shaped. French Connection is severing Japan stores STRUGGLING fashion house French Connection has given up on its plan to be big in Japan -- it is shutting all of its stores in the country. The companys Japanese arm is on course to make a loss of 2.5 million this year, forcing bosses to consider an overhaul. On Friday it slipped out a stock exchange announcement saying it would close all of its 21 stores in Japan over the next six to nine months. French Connection made a loss of nearly 13 million in the six months to the end of July. Stephen Marks, the founder and chief executive, had earlier identified Japan as a particularly troubled part of the empire. He said in the statement: I believe Japan continues to be an important market and presents a good opportunity for French Connection in the future. We will be maintaining brand presence in the market through our e- commerce offer. Closing the stores will cost 500,000. French Connection has been struggling for some time. Critics of the firm say the clothes are too expensive. Analysts at Altium had forecast the Japanese arm would lose 2.7 million this year. Today, on the back of the closure news, the broker hiked its rating of the retailer. Marks set up French Connection with Nicole Farhi, the fashion designer who went on to launch her eponymous clothing empire in 1972. Beer money: Minerva has plans to develop the Ram Brewery rich foreigners boosting luxury homes marketThe top end of the london housing market is booming again as cash-rich buyers snap up posh properties in the capital. Developer Minerva, which is building multi-million pound homes at lancaster Gate and has plans for an exclusive development in Kensington, today said prices in prime, central london are still rising after a 4% increase in April, May and June. The rise in the second quarter and over the summer followed a 20% crash in prices since the onset of the credit crunch in September 2007. Minerva chief executive Salmaan hasan said that after nearly two years of carnage, which sent demand and the prices of top-end homes tumbling, things are looking up. he said demand is still there for the best properties at the very top end of the market in london thanks to rich international buy- ers who do not need a mortgage. The weak pound has also made uK property very good value to overseas buyers. Minerva also has plans to develop the ram brewery in Wandsworth. The scheme includes 1000 apartments and 200,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space, but it now faces a Government inquiry. 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