22 DECEMBER 1939, Page 30


The possibility of a return of capital must often have been in the minds of the shareholders when they looked at the South West Africa Company's important investment portfolio. Sir Dougal Malcolm, at this week's meeting, again whetted shareholders' appetites but deferred their hopes. He disclosed that the company had been asked by an investment trust holding an important block of shares to make a capital return of 5o per cent. by selling enough investments to raise £265,903. For the time being the board have rejected the proposal. The investments have depreciated since the outbreak of war ; at one time the depreciation was as much as £159,000 ; it is still not less than 13o,00o, and the company has had to provide LI5o,000 for depreciation reserve. Thus the board felt that it would be unwise to dispose of nearly all the invest- ments at a heavy loss and leave the company with no reservoir of extra working capital. But he hinted that when trade returns to normal it may be possible to take another view.

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