Market Report: Taking Stock

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Athelney Trust, run by ex-stockbroker Robin Boyle from his Cornish base, increased NAV by 28.5 per cent last year, more than twice the growth of the Hoare Govett Smaller Companies Index. Its small company portfolio cost pounds 870,000 - it is now worth pounds 1.5m. But with a mere pounds 1.2m market capitalisation Athelney may be just too small to continue on its own. It may attempt to grow through acquisitions. The shares, traded on AIM, are 64.5p.

Newmark Technology, placed at 10p, closed at 13p. Stockbroker Teather & Greenwood is bullish, forecasting the company will get into profits by 1999 with an pounds 850,000 offering. Producing electronic security tags, Newmark is described as "one of the best technology-based small company investments around".