Company News in Brief

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Etonbrook Properties, the property developer and trader, said there was a dispute over the beneficial entitlement to 373,000 ordinary shares, representing 9.74 per cent of Etonbrook. The holding is registered in the name of Palmerston Investment Trust. Etonbrook received a notice from Andrew Perloff that sought to prevent the registration of the transfer of the shares to any other parties.

The reason for this notice is understood to be that a group of existing shareholders (including WK Moss, Etonbrook's managing director) believe they are entitled to the shares. Etonbrook yesterday issued notices under Section 212 of the Companies Act to enable it to identify the true owners of the shares.

North American Gas Investment Trust, which has direct and indirect investment in natural gas in Canada and the US, revealed a sharp improvement in net asset value to 80.5p (58.6p) over the six months to 31 January. The 37 per cent rise in the asset value was helped along by a rise in drilling activities. There was also a marked improvement in natural gas prices and the strength of the dollar after sterling was floated in the ERM late last year. However, the company was unable to declare an interim dividend (1.125p). It said it would consider making a payment for the full year.

Throgmorton Trust, the investment trust, declared a final dividend of 1.4p, making a total unchanged at 2.3p for the year to 30 November. Net asset value per share is 57.8p (70.2p). Pre-tax revenue eased to pounds 9.6m ( pounds 11.1m). The company said the net asset value related to a difficult year when financial markets were under immense pressure.

New Zealand Investment Trust is paying an unchanged interim dividend of 0.5p for the three months to 31 January. Net asset value per share at the end of the quarter was 149.7p (89.3p).

Fleming Fledgeling Investment Trust's net asset value per share increased to 288.4p (253.7p) at the end of the year to 31 December. Final dividend is 2p, making 3p.