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Reuters' 3000 guns for rivals

Reuters, the financial information company, yesterday launched its long- awaited 3000 series information system in the UK and Ireland, in a high- stakes bid to see off increased competition from competitors such as US- based supplier Bloomberg.

The new system, developed over three years at a cost of pounds 70m and aimed at replacing the 10-year old 2000 series, boasts access to an extensive historical data base, a feed from Reuters Television, and what analysts yesterday said was the best international data available through dedicated screen systems.

"This latest series certainly takes Reuters one step beyond Bloomberg," Brian Newman at Henderson Crosthwaite, said yesterday. "It is far more user-friendly and will definitely increase Reuters' market share."

John Parcell, managing director, UK and Ireland, said: "Since we launched the 2000 series, there has been a phenomenal number of changes and upheavals in the financial markets."

The system will be delivered from the second half of 1996, but is unlikely to have an impact on pre-tax profits until 1997. Analysts expect international banks and large fund managers to be the first to upgrade from the Reuters 2000 series, although most current users are expected to switch within the next five years.

The new system is priced at about 5 per cent more than the 2000, but offers what Reuters yesterday called the "most comprehensive product packages introduced for nearly a decade."