Rumours hit shares in Lonrho

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The Independent Online
A SPATE of rumours about the finances of Dieter Bock, the German businessman, hit shares in Lonrho, where he is co-chief executive, writes Peter Rodgers.

But the stories were rapidly denied and were blamed by sources close to the company on a dirty tricks campaign.

The rumours, which sent the Lonrho price down 12p to 131.5p, suggested that Mr Bock's German companies were in difficulties. One version suggested that a substantial Lonrho shareholder had placed 500,000 shares as a result of rumours that Deutsche Bank was about to take a big loss on loans to Advanta, the holding company for Mr Bock's German hotel and property interests.

Jochen Wodok, finance director of Advanta, said the story was untrue and that the company had no loans from Deutsche.

He added: 'We don't owe them any money and we don't have any big business with them.' Advanta made DM18m ( pounds 7m) last year and had accumulated profits in its balance sheet of DM88m.

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