EMI Rises to the Top after Trader Gets Sums Wrong; Market Report

Article excerpt

Byline: MICKEY CLARK

THE fat-fingered broker has struck again. This time the dealer with 10 thumbs got it wrong in music publisher EMI.

He was asked to sell 15,000 shares at 2801/4p, but instead put up the order for 15 million worth [pounds sterling]41.5 million. Harry Hedge Fund then piled in for at least eight million before the mistake was noticed by the hapless trader, who happened to be working for one of the biggest broking houses in the City.

But the damage had been done by then and the trader was forced to try to cover his exposed position.

That drove EMI 31/4p higher to 280p, making it the best performer among second-liners as a hefty 29 million shares changed hands.

Drinks giant Allied Domecq has become the latest focus of the London stock market rumour mill.

Shares in the Stolichnaya vodka and Beefeater gin group went on bid alert and led blue-chips higher with a jump of 21p to 513p.

According to reports in the US financial Press, rival French drinks group Pernod Ricard has appointed US investment bank JP Morgan and broker Morgan Stanley to identify potential acquisitions. Allied Domecq is reckoned to be top of their list and is capitalised at around [pounds sterling]5.7 billion.

Pernod, which owns Glenlivet whisky and Wild Turkey bourbon, joined with Diageo five years ago to buy the spirits operation of Seagram. Analysts say a bid by Pernod for Allied would enable it to expand its distribution network, which would be able to absorb more volume without running up costs.

A plethora of bid approaches and a seemingly endless stream of takeover speculation have helped drive up share prices generally this week. But worse-thanexpected US payroll numbers took the edge off things this afternoon and produced a cautious start to trading on Wall Street. …