Yorkshire Tyne Tees puts up a convincing showing

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The Independent Online
Once again it was left to the shares of Yorkshire Tyne Tees Television to put on the day's most intriguing show. They rose 23p to a 613p peak with the warrants 18p higher at 417p.

By common consent Yorkshire looks overvalued on trading considerations. Indeed, one stockbroker said recently the shares were too dear at 550p without a bid or new franchise deal. But takeover options look limited. Its two biggest shareholders, Granada and MAI, are barred from bidding under the current media rules and any overseas party would face regulatory problems.

Yet the shares seem unstoppable. They have climbed from 366p this year and are now selling on a stratospheric 75 times last year's earnings.

Although more than doubled profits are expected this year - to about pounds 23m - it is corporate, rather than trading, considerations which are attracting buyers.

A further relaxation of cross-media ownership rules is one possibility prompting the buying interest, and with Yorkshire enjoying a joint international sales force with Granada talks between the two are obviously ongoing.

But there is clearly a sneaking suspicion that a TV outsider could be planning to swoop. Rank Organisation, little changed at 427p, is one name in the frame.

The rest of the stock market drifted aimlessly with the FT-SE 100 index lowered 5.2 points to 3,549.3. Worries about the impact the new Ulster Unionist leadership will have on the Government's survival chances was the main influence, overwhelming any benefits produced by a firm New York display.

In early trading Footsie reached a new high with the latest Whitehall statistics underlining that any interest rate move should be downwards. But, with a few profit-takers hovering, the upbeat mood soon evaporated.

Associated British Foods, the giant with a host of leading brands, fell 9p to 712p as NatWest Securities moved its rating from hold to sell.

Reuters, the information group, suffered from Lehman Brothers caution and rumours that Bloomberg, the US information group, was preparing to expand its service for market traders. The shares dipped 13p to 579p.

Caradon, the building materials group, fell 18p to 203p in another heavy session with nearly 10 million shares traded. The group's profit warning, signalled over the weekend, produced a series of profitdowngrades with ABN Amro Hoare Govett slicing from pounds 238m to pounds 175m.

On Friday, in late trading, there was heavy trading in Caradon's shares with trades going through at 210p against a price then of 221p.

Amersham International, the healthcare group, remained weak, off a further 16p at 1,013p, with Lehman and Merrill Lynch cautious.

T&N, the car components group, reversed 2p to 184p; US investment presentations start today. De La Rue, the security printing group planning to show off its Portals operation to analysts on Thursday, eased 6p to 923p and Racal Electronics, continuing presentations, fell 5p to 287p.

United Biscuits, results on Thursday, fell another 3p to 279p. Interim profits could have crumbled from pounds 80.1m to pounds 23m and a dividend cut is expected. A hovering line pushed Grand Metropolitan 5.5p lower at 422.5p.

Electricities were dull as the market awaited takeover moves. Northern Electric slumped 143p to 846p, reflecting its defence package aimed at warding off Trafalgar House, taking effect.

Cowie, the cars to buses group, advanced 10.5p to 315p on talk of a significant expansion move.

My Kinda Town, the restaurant group, rose 1p to 14.5p on takeover talks with Groupe Chez Gerard, off 2p at 144p.

Psion, the hand-held computer group, continued to benefit from profit figures, up 29p at 594p and Unipalm, awaiting bid details, gained 45p to 475p.

Delphi, the former Computer People, with interim profits up more than 450 per cent to pounds 4.1m, gained 14p to 343p.

Reece, an industrial distributor, added 0.5p to 3.25p. Chairman Peter Knapton has nudged his interest to 49 per cent and Mike Norris, managing director, to 2.7 per cent, buying shares at 2.75p.

Magnum Power, developing units that prevent computer power failures, rose 20p to 168p. It has signed its first partnership agreement with a maker of computer power supplies, a US company called Golden Systems.