Telegraph shares tumble 13%

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SHARES in The Telegraph, publisher of the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, fell 13 per cent below last week's offer price on their stock market debut yesterday.

Offered at 325p, the shares opened at 291p and amid trading described as 'scrappy' by dealers, closed at 283p or a 42p discount. At this price The Telegraph, which is 68 per cent controlled by Conrad Black, the Canadian entrepreneur, is capitalised at pounds 379m.

Although due as much to an over-ambitious price as a nervous stock market, the Telegraph flop casts further doubt on other new issues on their way to market.

Applications for a pounds 157.6m public offering of shares in MFI, the furniture group, are due by 10am tomorrow morning, amid mounting fears of an embarrassingly low take-up. Taunton Cider is seeking pounds 41m from the public by next Wednesday, as part of a pounds 153m capital raising.

Dealings in Anglian, the double glazing group that attracted applications for only 5 per cent of the pounds 44.2m worth of shares it offered, are widely expected to go to a discount to the 210p offer price when dealings start next Wednesday.

Uncertainty also surrounds the Wellcome Trust's pounds 3bn international tender of shares in Wellcome, the pharmaceutical group. The tender is scheduled to close on 24 July.

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