MARKETS STILL FIRM.
THE Stock Markets continue to give little heed to the Spanish revolution, a circumstance mainly due to the belief that political complications will be avoided. We are now almost at the peak of the holiday season and business during the past week has certainly been slack, but the tone has kept good in most departments. The outstanding features have been the continued strength of British Funds and kindred securities and the activity and strength of Industrial shares. Increased attention has also been given to Shipping shares during the week, and a considerable rise has taken place in P. and 0. Deferred. In the Mining Market there seems to be no limit to the rise in West Witwatersrand, the 10s. shares of the Company having risen during the past week to over £13. At the beginning of this year they were only 88s.
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Judged by the profits obtained, the cinema enterprises must certainly be ranked as industries. At the recent annual meeting of Associated British Picture Corporation, the Chairman, Mr. John Maxwell, was able to state that during the past year the net profit had risen from £374,000 to £640,000, while the dividend of 121 per cent. compared with 10 per cent. for the previous year. Moreover, it would seem that the shareholders are likely to receive a bonus in the shape of new shares offered on bonus terms, the Chairman stating that the Directors had decided that the present time would be appropriate for offering the unissued 1,800,000 shares of the Company. These Ordinary shares are in denominations of 5s. each and now stand in the market at over 13s.
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BEER-F.i.tly PROPERTY AND INVESTMENT.
At the recent annual meeting of Berkeley Property and Investment Company, Limited, the Chairman, Mr. A. P. Good, explained that the deficiency shown in the latest annual accounts was entirely in respect of properties acquired before any of -the 'existing Directors took office. He further stated that during the past year the Directors had disposed of certain properties and had acquired others of a more suit- able character, while arrangements had been made for the acquisition of the whole of the issued share capital of the London House Trust, Limited. In referring to these acquisi- tions, and also to a reorganisation of assets, Mr. Good spoke very hopefully of the future, stating that he would be dis- appointed if the income available for the Ordinary share- holders from the existing property investments was not in excess of 7 per cent., although, he added : " Of couise, it will not be desirable to distribute the whole of this." To meet the deficit referred to, resolutions were passed at the meeting to write down the Ordinary share capital from £1 to 15s., while resolutions were also passed providing for an increase of the authorised capital back to the figure at which it at present stands----namely, £750,000, though the issued Ordinary capital will only be £506,250. The Company also has taken power to issue up to 750,000 5 per cent. Preference shares. " I think," said the Chairman in concluding his speech, " this year will see the patience of shareholders rewarded. I see no reason why a good rate of income on the written down Ordinary capital should not be earned and a satisfactory dividend paid."
BETTER TRADE FIGURES.
Not the, least important development of the past week has been the better trade figures published for the month of July. For some time past the . fact that the persistent rise in Imports has not been accompanied by an expansion in Exports has occasioned concern, but for July' the figures were .better. The value of Imports, it is tine, showed a further rise of nearly £7,000,000, but Exports also expanded by nearly £5,000,000 and, indeed, the total value of the Exports was the highest figure since November, 1930. The analysis of the direction of trade for the first six months of the year also showed a material increase in trade within the Empire; our total Imports from various parts of the Oversea Dominions amounted to £167,000,000, as compared with £144,000,000 for the first half of last year, and our Exports to them were valued at £101,000,000 as against £96,000,000.
A. W. K.