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Regional shares follow national trend.

City traders started the week watching a sea of red across trading screens, as waves of worry about future inflationary pressures and interest rate rises in the global economy took their toll on share prices.

The FTSE 100 index, having been almost 157 points off at its nadir, ended a volatile session 70.8 points lower at 5841.3. With nowhere to hide from concerns about a slowdown, the prices of stocks within the regional portfolio moved in line with the trend in the wider market.

Northern Investors Company, the investment trust managed by Northern Venture Managers, released final results for the year ended March 31. The full year figures showed net asset value per share increasing from 241.6p to 255.7p. NAV growth was constrained by the write-down of the investments in VPTA and SMS Agencies, which was equivalent to 11.5p per share.

Based upon a year end share price of 200p, the discount to net asset value stood at 21.8%, compared to last year's discount of 3.8%. This is the highest level for seven years and the directors continue to keep this situation under close review.

In order to maximise capital growth performance, the company intends to rationalise its investment portfolio, with a view to reducing the number of holdings and reaching a position over the next two years where the top 20 investments represent a significantly larger proportion of the assets.

Immunodiagnostic Systems, the Boldon-based developer and manufacturer of tools to aid in the diagnosis of diseases, particularly in the areas of bone and calcium dysfunction, announced chief scientific officer, Dr Phillip Lee, has resigned by mutual agreement with immediate effect to pursue other opportunities.

Simon Inness is an Assistant Director of the Wise Speke division of Brewin Dolphin Securities Ltd. Brewin Dolphin acts as joint broker to Northern Investors.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 16, 2006
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