10 FEBRUARY 1939, Page 42

Venturers' Corner It is symptomatic of the present state of

many sections of the stock markets that a share should be quoted lower after steps have been taken which should improve its status. This is what has happened to the preference shares of Amal- gamated Anthracite Collieries which, when the capital re- organisation scheme was announced at the end of November, rose to 9s. 3d., and are back to 8s. 74-cl. now that the scheme has been withdrawn. As I recently explained, the board's proposals have been dropped in deference to the views ex- pressed by certain Scottish investment trusts. These highly respectable institutions have taken a very strict view of the preference holders' rights and, I understand, are now ham- mering out a revised scheme in consultation with the board and representatives of the ordinary shareholders.

To be acceptable a new scheme will have to be more favourable to preference holders than the last one, which suggests that at 8s. 71d. the preference shares should turn out very well as a lock-up speculation. In the last two years the combine has strengthened its financial position con- siderably, and the willingness, at long last, to bring forward capital reorganisation proposals is sufficient evidence in itself that earnings prospects have materially improved. Even on the basis of the original scheme it was possible, con- servatively, to give the shares a value of over los. In view of the steps now being taken to secure more favourable treat- ment there should be scope for a moderate rise over the