Fear of fall in BSkyB

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The Independent Online
Institutional investors yesterday voiced growing concern that shares in BSkyB, the satellite broadcaster, will slump on Monday. Despite attempts by the company's advisers to shore up the price, heavy trading in the final days of the month-long sta bilisation programme has raised fears that the freely floating share price will fall next week.

"The shares are likely to drift towards the 200p mark as loss-making investors limit their damage and the shares settle at a more realistic value," said Louise Barton, media analyst at Henderson Crosthwaite. "The atmosphere of uncertainty surrounding theshares has lead to a lack of buyers and any lack of future performance will lead aggressive American fund managers to cut their losses."

People initially believed the price stabilisation had worked but last week's trading suggested otherwise, another media analyst said. After consistent trading around 256p, the price suffered in hectic trading on Thursday, slipping 3.9 per cent to 245p, with turnover reaching 19.1 million shares.

Some interpreted the price move as a wise decision by Goldman Sachs to flush out unsure investors before the 6 January stabilisation deadline. Others felt it was the result of shorting by speculators.

Yesterday 5.46 million shares were traded yesterday, almost all at Goldman Sachs's purchase price of 245p.

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