City File: Virtuality

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Virtuality, the space-age virtual reality games group, are expected to go to a healthy premium when dealings start on Tuesday. Just over 7 million shares are being placed at 170p, but early indications, and soundings about a grey market being orchestrated by Nomura, suggest an opening price of 220p to 270p, even though the group is forecasting a loss of up to pounds 400,000 for the first half-year.

Among the beneficiaries are many of the company's 70 employees, who bought about 5 per cent of the shares at a mere 7.5p each, while the managing director and finance director are each selling more than a fifth of their holdings.

Virtual reality systems have applications in home entertainment, education, advertising and promotion. The shares are clearly trendy and worth a ride, but could prove risky in the longer term.