Column Eight: Spirited away from Trinity

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The Independent Online
Much mystery surrounds the disappearance of allotment letters telling shareholders the size of their stake in Trinity, which began trading yesterday. In delivery from London to Birmingham they went astray and another batch was quickly printed. Geoff Hollyhead, chairman, says the letters were not stolen, just mislaid. 'A parcel was delivered by courier, put on a desk and nobody's seen it since.' They can be used for trading, but only by the person they were addressed to, and only through the original broker.

The rationalisation of the fund management sector heralded by the purchase of Touche Remnant by Henderson Administration has begun. Farewell Robin Berrill, head of Henderson's private client division, who apparently put up quite a fight to save his job. Still, a pounds 100,000-plus pay-off will soften the blow.

Yet another slice of British industry is under threat from imports. North West Growers, the UK's largest producer of tomatoes, called in receivers yesterday, blaming its more competitive European rivals.

Richard Needham, Minister for Trade, added to his reputation for straight talking at the British Exporters Association lunch yesterday. His description of British industry: 'A number of diamonds swimming in a sea of shit.'

The launch in Birmingham by the Department of Trade and Industry of a debt counselling service for small businesses has upset the National Federation of Self-Employed. No one at the DTI thought to tell the NFSE, or invite anyone to the launch by Baroness Denton. 'It's ludicrous. I do not even know the phone number to ring,' said a spokeswoman for the NFSE, which can do more than most to promote the service.

Subscription rates to the thrice-yearly Treasury Bulletin, described by Chancellor Lamont as 'an invaluable source of information', have gone up 1.10p to pounds 20 - an inflation rate of 5.8 per cent.