Shares: Taking Stock

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Era, the struggling retailer, held at 3.25p as a consortium led by entrepreneur Luke Johnson was revealed as a possible buyer of its Tecno camera chain. Mr Johnson's team includes Charles Dunstone of The Carphone Warehouse and electrical retailer Julian Richer. It is believed the group attempted to mount a reverse takeover before Era came under new management. There is speculation Mr Johnson and friends still see Era as a possible vehicle for a stock market presence.

Avocet Mining rose 8p to 150p as Societe Generale Strauss Turnbull forecast it could move from losses into profits of pounds 10.5m in the year to March 1999. The company is a leading producer of tungsten, where demand is increasing, and has gold operations in Malaysia.