Thomson at 170p

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SHARES in Thomson Travel Group, the UK's largest tour operator, will be valued at 170p, the top end of its flotation price range, after overwhelming demand from private investors

More than 500,000 people applied for shares in the group which will entitle them to 10 per cent discounts off all Thomson holidays. There has also been strong demand for shares from financial institutions which should ensure that the stock gets off to a good start when conditional dealings start today.

Thomson will come to the market with a valuation of pounds 1.7bn and analysts say the shares should rise sharply. However thousands of potential investors stand to miss out. Thomson is still facing complaints from those denied shares because of administrative errors, though the group has offered to extend discounts to those who registered early.