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Standard Investor Seeking to Sell Stake

Standard Chartered is expected to be back in the bid limelight today after reports that its biggest shareholder is looking to sell his 15pc stake.

Malaysian businessman Tan Sri Khoo is said to have been attempting to find a buyer through a third party, with Barclays Bank one of the prime targets. The stake is believed to have figured in the short-lived and tentative negotiations over a Barclays bid for Standard.

Banking sources said yesterday there were two approaches involving Barclays and Standard. But Standard sources disputed suggestions that Malcolm Williamson, chief executive, was the driving force behind one of them despite a meeting with Martin Taylor, Barclays chief executive.

Mr. Khoo has maintained «close and friendly» links with Standard since helping the bank beat off an unwelcome bid from Lloyds more than a decade ago.

Banking sources say that he is unlikely to make any move without consulting Patrick Gillam, Standard chairman, or seeking his approval.

One said: «He wouldn't want to do anything which would upset Standard but it would be surprising if he hadn't been approach about selling his stake. He's been tremendously supportive over the years».

(The Daily Telegraph, March 2, 1998)

(7) A classified advertisement:

Companies for Sale

POLLUTION CONTROL. Company located West Midlands. Having own modern facility in pleasant rural area with easy access to motorway network. Company formed in 1980. Current turnover approx 750K. Profitable. Trading in UK and internationally. Designs, supplies, installs water and wastewater treatment plant specializing in industrial treatment schemes.

(The Daily Telegraph, March 2, 1998)

(8) From «Hexameters» by S. T. Coleridge:

William, my teacher, my friend! dear William

and dear Dorothea!

Smooth out the folds of my letter, and place

it on desk or on table;

Place it on table or desk; and your right hands

loosely half-closing,

Gently sustain them in air, and extending

the digit didactic,

Rest it a moment on each of the forks

of the five-forked left hand,

Twice on the breadth of the thumb, and once

on the tip of each finger;

Read with a nod of the head in a humouring


And, as I live, you will see my hexameters

hopping before you.

This is a galloping measure; a hop, and a trot,

and a gallop!



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