Anglia bucks share price trend

SHARE prices around the world have been plunging over the last few months – but one Ipswich-based company has seen its value double in the last three weeks.

By Paul Geater

SHARE prices around the world have been plunging over the last few months – but one Ipswich-based company has seen its value double in the last three weeks.

Anglia Railways' parent company GB Railways saw its shares slide in the wake of the Hatfield railway disaster in October 2000.

In the wake of the tragedy and the speed restrictions introduced afterwards, the number of passengers carried by Anglia fell and the company's profits were wiped out.


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That caused its share price to crash from about 115p to about 40p, where it had languished for more than a year until the middle of July.

Within days the price of shares doubled to 80p, although they have since slipped back to 70p each.

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Employees and directors of listed companies are not allowed to comment on share movements by Stock Exchange rules.

However The Evening Star understands investors have been impressed by a number of developments, some affect GB Railways services outside Anglia.

Hull Trains, another GB Railways company, has secured a deal to carry on running trains until 2010, and will be introducing new 125mph units on the route from London to Humberside.

The company has also linked up with transport giant Connex to mount a joint bid to run passenger services in the Wales and West franchise area which is currently being examined by the Strategic Rail Authority.

GB Railfreight, which operates container trains from Felixstowe and other services across Britain, has won new contracts and is expected to buy another eight powerful locomotives for its services.

And there has been speculation that another rail operator - possibly Freightliner - could be interested in taking a stake in the company.

At the same time tipsters in national publications have been tipping GB Railways as a share that is undervalued and worth a gamble.

The Star understands that several employees could not resist the temptation to buy shares when they were at their lowest point, and have made a significant profit over recent weeks.

The turnaround in GB Railways' fortunes has boosted the company's chances of winning the Greater Anglia franchise which is due to come into operation in early 2004.

It is bidding against First Group, National Express, and six other companies for the right to run rail services throughout the region, including commuter, InterCity and local lines.

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