Market Report: Taking Stock

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The Independent Online
EDINBURGH Java, an obscure emerging markets investment trust, jumped 1.75p to 8p as stockbroker John East & Partners acquired 13.5 per cent, lifting its stake to 14.8 per cent. The BP Pension Fund also picked up 14.5 per cent. John East has a reputation for arranging reverse takeovers and it could be the Java trust has been earmarked for such an exercise. Like many Far Eastern investment vehicles it has performed poorly. The shares were 33p last summer and touched 56p in 1994.

NORTHERN Leisure, where takeover talks have come to an inconclusive end, gets a buy signal from stockbroker Henry Cooke Lumsden. Its 12 month target is 727p. Current price is 531.5p. Profits of the discotheque chain are expected to hit pounds l6.3m this year; pounds 27.8m next and then pounds 39.8m. Northern, it appears, wanted 600p-plus a share; too much for the bidder, thought to be Rank.

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