Telegraph share float flops in bear market

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

THE FLOTATION of the Telegraph newspaper publishing company flopped yesterday and a planned share issue by MFI, the furniture retailer, was threatened as the stock market plunged to its lowest level since the general election, writes Patrick Hosking.

Small investors subscribed for only 3 million shares in the publisher of the Daily Telegraph. That left the bulk of the 13 million shares on offer in the hands of investment institutions that had underwritten the offer.

Advisers to MFI, which manufactures and sells Schreiber and Hygena kitchen and bedroom furniture, were last night debating whether to abandon its flotation after discovering little appetite in the City for the shares. They were expected to go ahead, but at a much lower price than hoped for.

The FTSE-100 index fell 27.3 points to 2493.9, as bearish rumours spread in the market.

Flotation nerves, page 28

Stock market report, page 31