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Reuters (Holdings) Plc is preparing for the imminent birth of true 24-hour global share trading with plans for launch in the spring of an improved version of its global equity report. The planned Equities 2000 service will provide information on more than 100,000 worldwide equity, commodity and future prices. On its present service, only 25% of the capacity can handle fast reporting of price up-dates, but the new service with handle fast quotations for all stocks, and will be able to transmit the second level of the Stock Exchange Automated Quotation System, SEAQ, enabling viewers to see all the market makers’ prices for a stock rather than just the best bid and best offer. Last year, the company installed 103,000 new terminals, 44% more than it put in in 1985. Meantime Reuters’ 1986 figures (see Company Results) demonstrate that the string of acquisitions made by the company, notably in the US, are already beginning to pay off, and the striking performance was despite the fact that dollar translations trimmed the return from the US. North American business, which includes the lucrative Rich Inc acquisition in Chicago, were up 40% in sterling terms, but 60% in dollars – and there will be all of Instinet Corp to add to the picture next time around – the company expects to complete the near-$100m acquisition in May. The Instinet system will be integrated with Equities 2000. Despite the withering dollar, overall, the weakness of sterling against almost all currencies apart from the dollar meant that the company actually came out with a foreign exchange benefit of UKP7m. European business was up 60% at UKP334.1m, and in Asia and Australasia, business rose 30% to UKP146.2m.

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CBR Staff Writer

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