Argos catalogue to power share sale

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The Independent Online
The latest line at the Argos catalogue stores is shares in National Power and PowerGen. The move, part of the £4bn sale of the Government's remaining shares in the generators, is designed to take privatisation to the high street in a way which cou ld reach more consumers than ever before.

Anyone applying for the shares through Argos will receive a £5 credit, redeemable against goods in the catalogue, irrespective of whether they are successful in obtaining shares.

The brains behind the initiative is the Share Centre, one of 130 share shops with a total of 11,000 outlets approved by the Government to market shares to the British public.

Share shops are normally run by banks, building societies and other financial organisations. Attempts in the 1980s to sell shares through Debenhams stores flopped. However, Peter Forster, director of the Share Centre, said that the Argos venture is different as it is linked to a specific share offer.

Separately, it emerged yesterday that the minimum investment for the UK public will be £1,000 - around twice the minimum level when shares in the generators were sold in1991.

At least 40 per cent of the shares on offer will be reserved for the UK public offer.

Row over short-selling, page 32