Market Report: Shares

ORIEL ROSE 9.5p to 102p as Oman National Holding Co said it was in talks to buy the insurance broker. The market talk is that an offer of around 125p will appear. Oriel has been in takeover talks on and off in recent times. At one time Aon, the US giant, was near to completing a deal.

ANOTHER INSURANCE group, Ockham, should enjoy a heady profits run, says stockbroker Greig Middleton. It forecasts a modest loss this year but then profits of pounds 2.6m followed by pounds 13.4m and pounds 22.6m. The insurance group recently sold stockbroker Wise Speke for pounds 26.5m. Ockham shares held at 155p.

HEAVY TRADING in construction group Birse. National Westminster Bank is thought to have been involved. The bank declared a 16.08 per cent stake. The shares firmed to 24p.

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