Column Eight: Springing back with a buy

Eccentric Angus Phaure, the building materials analyst at County NatWest, has always adopted a novel approach to his subject. But last week he recommended that shares in Spring Ram should be sold at 119p, despite proclaiming that the company 'is quite simply the most impressive company that this author has encountered in three decades of working lifetime'.

However, after another flawless set of figures from the company earlier this week a breathless Mr Phaure recommended that investors 'pile in' at 142p. Should we be zigging or zagging, Angus?

Table talk at Lloyd's of London insurance market centres on David Coleridge's choice of successor as chairman - David Rowland, the man with the third-class degree in natural sciences. Muse the wags: had Mr Rowland been successful in his first career choice, medicine, he might have ended up as a general practitioner in Surbiton. Now look where he's headed.

Esquire magazine trumpets that the ex-convict and businessman Gerald Ronson, he of the Guinness affair, gave nothing to charity through his two main charitable trusts until his arrest.

'There are several serious mis-statements in Esquire's press release,' commented a spokesman for Mr Ronson's business interests drily - a reference to a third and more active trust. M'learned friends are being consulted.

Tiny tots will be able to sport their own hair pieces. In Japan, the trading company Alps Shoji and the textile giant Teijin are to introduce fashion wigs for children. Look forward then to the 'Doki Doki hair mode' line of wigs for girls under 10 years old. The wigs will come in pearl blond, gold blond or auburn, and extend Alps' line of cosmetic products for children. 'It's part of a series,' said an excited spokesman.

To the Honourable Artillery Company, hard by this office, for a lavish ball thrown last night by the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange.

Amid all the champagne and canapes in the marquees the thought arose: how could such extravagance be afforded during the recession? Apparently, a special budget was created to celebrate the exchange's 10th anniversary. Doubtless if the exchange's coffers need replenishing after the bash, the member banks will feel happier digging into their pockets to help meet the bill after their killings in the foreign exchange markets.

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