Power sale kicks off to healthy start

Sir George Young, Financial Secretary to the Treasury and the man in charge of power privatisation, faces the cameras at the start of dealings yesterday in the newly issued shares in National Power and PowerGen. In heavy trading, partly paid shares in National Power surged to 193p at one point - compared with the issue price of 170p for the first installment - but fell back to close at 186.5p. PowerGen's shares rose to a high of 207p compared with the first installment price of 185p, falling to 198.5p by the end of the day.

The Government has warned that interim certificates would not be dispatched until 13 March and that those selling risk doing so for shares which they have not been allocated. Private investors who bought shares through approved share shops may receive their certificates even later.

The price for the shares was set on Sunday at 486p for National and 522p for PowerGen. Private investors receive a 10p discount. Photograph: Kalpesh Lathigra