Taking Stock

Market Report
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The Independent Online
Late excitement at Era, the struggling retailing chain. A chunk of shares, probably most of the Scottish Amicable 7.7 per cent stake, went through just as the market was closing, arousing hopes of a bid. A shake-up is under way and disposals are expected. The shares held at 4p against the 3p of the suspected ScotAm deal.

Premiere, the jobs agency opening in Dublin today and with nearly 30 branches in Britain, lifted interim profits from pounds 210,000 to pounds 319,000; around pounds 1.1m against pounds 96l,000 seems likely for the year. The shares, floated at 133p, rose 3p to 162.5p.

American Port Services rose 8.5p to 186p, a peak. The company looks vulnerable to a bid. Aggressive Jacobs Holdings sits menacingly on 6.5 per cent.