Dealers predict A&L will start at 528p

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The Independent Online
Stock market dealers were betting yesterday that shares in Alliance & Leicester would start trading as high as 528p when dealings officially begin on Monday, writes Clifford German. That would mean that 250 the 1.1 million members of the former building society, each of whom has been allocated 250 free shares, were looking at a windfall worth pounds 1,300 each.

IG Index, the City bookmakers, raised their spread of prices from the overnight 494p-502p to 520-528p, and still attracted a steady flow of "buy" orders from dealers who would win money only if the price exceeded the top end of the spread.

Shortly before IG Index's dealings closed some sell orders appeared, backing an opening price below 520p and the spread was lowered slightly to 518p-526p. At 518p the individual windfalls would still be worth pounds 1,295 a head. But the real action will be in the stock market and much depends on the outcome of the three stage auction of 157 million shares put up for immediate sale by members who want to sell their shares for whatever they will fetch.

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