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o James Finlay, the plantation group with banking interests, has often disap- pointed supporters. Shareholders have had to live with profit warnings and the dividend has not been increased for 10 years.The shares, down 1p at 55p, are near their 10-year low. But close followers of the company believe they are at last detecting signs moves are under way to revamp the assets-rich group. John Swire & Sons, the powerful Hong Kong group, has nearly 30 per cent and is thought to be anxious to improve Finlay's performance.

o Fine Decor, the wallcovering group, duly confirmed it was involved in takeover talks, sending the shares 26p higher to 152p.

Discussions, it said, were at an early stage. Vymura, down 1p at 132p, is the favourite to pounce.