Shares: Taking Stock

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Columbus, a travel publisher, is expected to receive a rapturous reception when dealings get underway today. The company, formerly the Carnell publishing and direct selling concern, is the latest offering from entrepreneurial investor Nigel Wray. His Burford property group intends to distribute its 43 per cent of Columbus among its own shareholders in an exercise reminiscent of Burford's handing out of Trocadero shares. Carnell was suspended at 27p last month.

Fibernet should also make a strong debut today. There is talk the shares could trade up to 130p against the 100p flotation. The company needs the pounds 10m raised through the placing to roll out a national network linking computers with faxes, telephones and videos. Its system is now run at a local level.