Woolwich shares go begging

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The Independent Online
Former members of Woolwich building society were dealt a blow yesterday by another disappointing auction of unwanted shares in the new bank that saw professional City investors picking up stock for as little as 287p - against the 373.5p high at which anyone with a share certificate on Monday morning could have sold out.

The disappointing auction results so far mean shareholders will almost certainly have done much better to have opted for a share certificate and sold in early dealings than to have participated in the organised auction of unwanted shares staged this week by BZW on behalf of the Woolwich.

The average price achieved by the second auction on Tuesday night was 292.4p compared to the 313.4p raised by the first sell-off on Monday night. Former members who chose to cash in their shares immediately via the auction process will receive the average price achieved in four sales, the last of which takes place later today.

In Monday's auction, institutions were prepared to bid up to 345p. But the shares fell again yesterday to close at 295p. At that price the minimum allocation of 450 shares is valued at pounds 1,328.