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Privatisation (Multiple Share Applications)

Volume 114: debated on Thursday 9 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will make a statement as to what proportion of the shares of BT were examined for possible illegality as referred to in the answer of 13 February 1985, Official Report, column 176, to the right hon. Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Williams).

All the shareholdings under the United Kingdom offer for sale were so examined. The overseas share issue arrangements were explained in the earlier answer.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will make a statement as to the arrangements that were made for the examination of BT share applications for possible illegalities.

Arrangements were made to deter and detect multiple applications. They led to some 6,600 applications being rejected.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish in the Official Report the number of multiple share applications discovered in the following privatisations: Amersham International, British Gas, Cable and Wireless and Associated British Ports, and the number of prosecutions arising from multiple share applications, together with the penalties involved; and if he will supply the same information in respect of the Trustee Savings Bank flotation.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will establish inquiries into the sale of shares in (a) British Aerospace (second tranche), (b) British Airways, (c) British Gas, (d) Britoil (second tranche), (e) Cable and Wireless (third tranche) and (f) the Trustee Savings Bank, with a view to establishing the precise extent of multiple share applications; and if he will make a statement.