Further setback for Titaghur campaign

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A GROUP of disgruntled shareholders in Titaghur, formerly the UK's oldest quoted company, have failed in their attempt to have the European Court review the Stock Exchange's decision to cancel Titaghur's listing.

The listing was suspended in 1989 shortly before Titaghur's chairman, Reginald Brealey, was charged with insider trading. Mr Brealey was acquitted last year after the Crown Prosecution Service, which was severely criticised by Mr Justice Saunders, decided to offer no evidence.

Shareholders, who include many small investors in Scotland, have lobbied the Stock Exchange to restore the listing and Mr Brealey has offered to resign from the chairmanship if this will help.

A group led by Mr Brealey's brother Leonard took the Exchange to court. The application for a judicial review was thrown out earlier this year, on the grounds that the Exchange owes a duty only to companies, not their shareholders, but the court said the shareholders could apply to the European Court for a review.

Yesterday the Court of Appeal closed off that avenue. The Master of the Rolls, Sir Thomas Bingham, said that the European Court had no authority to review the decision.

The Exchange may face another challenge to its authority in the case of GPG, the investment group, which had its listing suspended last year because it no longer had a definable business.