Stocks: Blast-Off for British Telecom

The scramble at the London Stock Exchange last Monday resembled a rough-and-tumble rugby scrum. In the first day of trading in British Telecom, hundreds of brokers fought to get some of the action. The government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was selling off 50.2% of the company as part of a program to return some nationalized firms to private ownership. Around trading posts adorned with yellow balloons and huge red, green and blue plastic model telephones, 800 million Telecom shares changed hands, a London record for one day's activity in a single stock.

The British government set the initial investment...

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