Sharewatch

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BUY

Aberdeen Asset Management (140p), says Teather & Greenwood, which cites Aberdeen's sponsorship of the Boat Race as an indication of the fund manager's arrival as a significant national player. Three associated institutions hold 62 per cent of the shares, including Scottish Provident, a broker- dependent mutual, with 40.5 per cent. T&G has raised its recommendation in light of the fate of other mutuals and Prudential's purchase of M&G

The welding and specialist engineering products group Charter is a buy (361p), says Kyte Securities. The shares are cheap on a December 1999 price-earnings ratio of 7.2 and a dividend yield of 8.7 per cent, adds Kyte.

SELL

PowerGen (708p), recommends Charles Stanley, pointing to increased competition and further electricity-pool price falls facing the generator. The broker notes that record availability of plant, and mild weather at the end of 1998, hit profits, which came in at pounds 580m before tax, and has pencilled in pounds 560m for this year and pounds 550m for 2000, noting that, as a consequence of selling two plants in order to buy East Midlands Electricity, PowerGen's share of UK generation is set to fall from 25 to below 14 per cent, while it will also lose annual payments of pounds 35m as its earn-out agreement with Eastern ends early.

ABN Amro has downgraded its rating on Colt Telecom from hold to overvalued (1,134p). With competition set to intensify, Colt's profits growth could be held back, warns ABN Amro. Although it would make strategic sense for Colt to expand its fibre optic networks to Eastern Europe and America, the start-up losses would push Colt further into the red during the early years of the next century, adds the broker, which has moved to a cautious stance on alternative network operators in general, following telecoms' 41 per cent outperformance last year.

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