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a personal view of the week's news from Erithacus
25th August 2001
The biggest climber among new issues on the London Stock Market was Innovation Group, whose shares rose 22.5 pence on Friday (7.4%) to finish at 327.5. Despite the rise, Innovationís shares remain well down on their bounce to over 400 earlier this month, and far from their high of over 800 shortly after their issue in May this year.
British American Tobacco is to challenge a ruling of the European Union to crack down on cigarette advertising. The company accuses the EU of "legislating beyond its powers", and is to take its case to the European Courts of Justice. Shares in BATS dropped 5 points on Friday to finish at 600, but still up 30 points on the week with the news that the Vietnamese Government had given the go-ahead for a joint venture with the Vietnam National Tobacco Company.
All the same, something makes me feel uncomfortable about it. Can you imagine: "Yes, your Aunt Agnes has had her operation and is doing well. You can see her as soon as she gets back from Warsaw Ė if the trolley survives the journey."
Is it me?
Are politicians, perhaps, becoming ambidextrous? Or are they merely hiding their hands in a cynical attempt to hoodwink the public?
It is heartwarming to see, however, that politicians continue to manage the occasional "public scandal". I thought for a while we were going to lose this marvellous and traditionally British entertainment, or that the lines there too were becoming blurred. Mentioning no names here - Iíll leave that to the tabloid journalists who are so good at it Ė but it really is comforting to know that Conservatives are doing their best to maintain their propensity for sex scandals while Labour concentrate on financial impropriety.
25th August 2001
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