TAKING STOCK

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The Independent Online
rThe pounds 50m cash call by Cairn Energy scored a 98.6 per cent take, underlining the belief the oil explorer has struck it rich off Bangladesh.

It wants the cash to develop what appears to be a massive field; a US energy contractor has joined forces with Cairn, paying 50 per cent of the costs for a 25 per cent stake. Mercury Asset Management, which has an 11 per cent stake, underwrote the rights.

The shares rose 10p to 339p just below their peak. They were 90p last year. There is talk of an oil takeover; Cairn must be one target under consideration.

rPrivate client stockbroker Walker Crips Weddle Beck made a quiet debut, 71p against a 70p placing.

It is valued at pounds 6m. Profits last year were pounds 589,000.

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