Shares: Taking Stock

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The Independent Online
Ward Holdings, the housebuilder, was last night trying to get its own house in order after announcing that the company's family shareholders had terminated talks about selling their controlling stake in the companies.

Ward shares plummeted by almost a quarter to close at 53.5p after the company said no offer was sufficiently attractive to accept. Rumours of a rethink were doing the rounds last night.

Netica, the electronic publisher, which started trading on Ofex on Tuesday, is attracting a stream of buyers. It opened at 80p, but soared yesterday to 124.5p after 120,750 shares were traded. The company, which has a contract with Microsoft's online product, Microsoft Network, specialises in Internet and intranet- based information services.