Market Report: Taking Stock

HEREWARD Ventures, being developed as an exploration and investment company by David Bramhill, is planning a dual autumn share listing - in Vancouver and on Dublin's developing companies market. Campbell O'Connor, the company's stockbroker, currently makes a market in the shares; price is about 4p. Hanover Continental, a venture capital group, is taking a 10 per cent stake, buying new shares at 3p.

SIRA Business Services, a cleaning group, has picked up a pack of new contracts, including Stringfellows night club in London, health clubs in 50 Post House Hotels and Northampton's police stations. The deals are worth around pounds 2m. Sira's shares held at 3.25p.

SKETCHLEY firmed to 49.5p. The cleaning and film processing group may be near to clinching a deal over its retail operations. A management buyout is thought to be likely.