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Who's who on the shop shelf

Bristol-based stockbrokers Hargreaves Lansdown, best known for its annual free guide to companies that give perks to investors, has just produced an "Investor's Guide to the High Street".

It lists 800 brand names, divided into categories such as clothing, confectionery and so on, and their parent companies, including 130 UK quoted companies.

The guide is a handy reference guide for investors who feel that a certain product may be the making or breaking of the company owning that brand name. By using the guide, you could choose which listed firms' shares to invest in.

A quick glance at the index shows that Character Group, a listed company, owns the rights to the Spice Girl dolls but the Teletubby rights belong to Golden Bear, a private UK company in which Lord Jeffrey Archer was an early investor.

Peter Hargreaves, chairman of Hargreaves Lansdown, says WT Foods, formerly a textile company trading as West Trust and now reborn as a supplier of spice for ethnic cooks, is more to his taste.

Readers who fancy a guide can write to Hargreaves Lansdown at Kendal House, 4, Brighton Mews, Clifton, Bristol. The guides are free of charge, but a cheque for pounds 2 a copy payable to the NSPCC would be welcome with your application.

Clifford German