New economy firms drop out of FTSE100

Four of the new economy stocks that rolled into the FTSE100 three months ago have suffered the indignity of being rolled off the index. The technology, media and telecoms (TMT) stocks humbled were Baltimore Technologies, Kingston Communications (Hull), Thus Telecom and Psion. Volatile markets caused their fortunes to evaporate and market analysts see their relegation last week to the FTSE250, the second division of UK stockmarket indices, as partial return to normality. Stocks expected to rejoin the top index are Hanson, Ocean Group and Scottish & Newcastle. But it was not all bad news for the TMT sector. Bookham Technology is joining the index of 100 leading shares for the first time.

Mobile phone firm in £2bn shares plan

Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse has announced plans to float its shares on the London Stock Exchange next month. Analysts suggest the company could be valued at as much as £2bn. Such value competes favourably with the £1.4bn recently put on Egg, Prudential’s on-line bank, which some analysts now say is grossly overvalued. The founder and chief executive of the company is expected to pick up almost half the proceeds of the transaction based on his 47 per cent stake. Directors and other staff will also be rewarded handsomely as they collectively own the balance of the company.

ITN news service hits the headlines with flotation idea

Daily Mail & General Trust, the UK newspaper publisher said last week it would consider favourably the floating of the ITN news service. ITN is owned by a consortium, which includes United News, Reuters, Granada, Daily Mail and Carlton. Any proposed deal is likely to be complicated and consolidation within the sector cannot be ruled out. However, many market analysts believe that spinning off ITN would create new opportunities and provide the resources to fund business expansion. The UK competition authorities are likely to probe mergers in the sector. Granada share price has made good progress in recent weeks but the sector performance has been flat.

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