Sharechecker looks set to join Filofax, the cellular phones and Porsches as an essential item for anyone wanting to be someone in the City. Sharechecker is designed for those who can’t bear not to know what a particular share price, Financial Times index or other financial instrument is doing at all times when they are away from a Stock Exchange screen (CI No 805). At present, it is a modified Panasonic radio pager with video display although CCF Group Plc, the listed London financial and broking systems and services company behind the idea, is currently in negotiations with NEC over a custom design model. The user tells CCF what price information he or she wants to be kept up to date; Hugh Osmond, the man behind the idea, gives the example of a market maker with several thousand ICI shares on the book who’d like to go out to lunch but needs to keep an eye on price movements. The central CCF Pick-based computer connected directly to the computer at London’s International Stock Exchange notifies a Personal Computer fitted with a modem each time a subscriber’s price movement takes place. The PC then causes the pager to bleep and flash three times before displaying the message. Up to 20 messages, containing a total of 1,200 characters can be saved up for the user when the pager is switched off. The user also has the facility to switch the bleep off, to avoid disturbing a meeting or interrupting the slow movement of Beethoven’s Seventh at the Festival Hall, while retaining the flash and display capabilities. CCF hopes the NEC device will be able to vibrate as an alternative to bleeping. The Panasonic pager costs UKP300 or can be rented for UKP18 a month. The subscription charge is a further UKP30 a month with each message an additional 33p including Stock Exchange royalties. For the UKP30, one price watch is thrown in free, each extra one costs UKP5, although volume discounts are available. CCF hopes to secure 2,000 subscriptions in the first 12 months of the service. Full list and USM share prices, pound dollar rate and FT index movements are currently offered. Traded options and gilts are likely to be added.
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