UK bankers see no sign of tech recovery

Slump means that a UK investment bank has seen the value of its technology investments plummet

UK investment bank Beeson Gregory has warned that technology stocks are unlikely to recover in the near future.

Announcing its financial results for the first half of the year, Beeson Gregory said that market conditions were very difficult and that it was unclear when any recovery might begin. Beeson Gregory reported a pre-tax loss of £5.59m, compared to a profit of £11.38m for the first six months of 2000. The company specialises in investing in small technology companies, but despite avoiding dot-coms it has been badly hit by the general tech slump.

In a statement, chairman Ari Zaphiriou-Zarifi said, "Market conditions continue to be very difficult and there can be no certainty that they will improve in the short to medium term." He added that history did show that markets normally recover, and suggested that recent cuts in interest rates might soon have a beneficial effect.

Beeson Gregory has been forced to write off over £8m from its technology investment portfolio. Last June it held £18.9m in technology stocks, but the value of these investments has now fallen to around £10m.

In an attempt to survive the downturn, the company has decided not to pay its shareholders an interim dividend, and will also not pay any bonuses for the first half of this year.

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