City: Brave attempt

THE obvious piece to write on the failed attempt last week by Warburgs to impose transparency on dealings in BT shares in the run-up to the Government's pounds 5bn sell-off is what virtually everyone in the City was saying about it - that forcing Warburgs to back off is a victory for common sense and sound market practice. I don't think I've ever come across a case of an attempted rule change causing such tut-tutting and irritation among competitors and institutional investors. Typical of the arrogance of Warburgs, which increasingly seems to dominate what little corporate finance business there is to be had in the City, to believe it can waltz about changing the rules to suit its own interests, competitors said.

Liquidators find dollars 12.4bn 'black hole' in assets of BCCI: Correction

Control Securities has asked us to point out that, contrary to the implication of a story on 24 April, Nazmu Virani is not a director of the company and has not been since April 1992.

View from City Road: Warburg looks at its options

BELATEDLY SG Warburg is attempting to fill a yawning gap in its range of services. While other securities firms in London in recent years have built up a sizeable business in derivatives - futures and options - Warburg has been caught napping.

View from City Road: Maddox holders require faith

THE SOUTH AFRICAN entrepreneur Hugo Biermann was behind the phenomenal success of Thomson T-Line, the Vernons pools group. It grew from a pounds 2m company in 1986 to a value of pounds 180m when it was bought by Ladbroke in 1989. However, Mr Biermann's latest venture, Maddox Group, has yet to set the world on fire.

Market-maker cuts back as USM closure is confirmed

NEARLY 100 small companies in the UK and Ireland will be left with only one market-maker in their shares after the Danish securities group Bikuben cut its London operation yesterday. At the same time the London Stock Exchange confirmed it was recommending the closure of the Unlisted Securities Market.

Commentary: Derivatives out of control

ABank of England survey out today will show how much the power of the foreign exchange markets has grown since 1989, when the last comprehensive figures said trading in London had doubled in three years to dollars 187bn a day. The six leading world centres together logged almost dollars 600bn a day. But the total is now close to dollars 1,000bn.

View from City Road: A smaller failure

WARBURG'S decision does not mark the end but the beginning of the end of market making in smaller companies. This became inevitable once market makers found it uneconomic to devote capital to this end of the corporate spectrum, and it has been made possible by the introduction of the bulletin board.

Wellcome share issue looks to be a winner

THE pounds 2.7bn Wellcome share issue looked like being a success after strong demand for the shares before the offer closed at 5pm yesterday.

Wellcome on trail of sellers

WELLCOME Trust advisers are trying to discover the identity of the City firms that it believes are driving down the share price of Wellcome, the drugs company, before the pounds 2.8bn share sale closes on Friday, writes Clare Dobie.

Bad debt write-off sends Birse to 13.2m pounds loss

BIRSE GROUP, the Humberside construction company, dived to a pre-tax loss of pounds 13.2m for the year to 30 April, chiefly as the result of writing off pounds 8.5m of a bad debt.
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