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Drapers Share monitor - Sports Direct shows early promise

Founder Mike Ashley netted £929 million as his Sports Direct empire launched on the stock market with an initial public offering at 300p per share.

Increased speculation that Ashley could snap up fashion chain Scotts accompanied the flurry of expectation that resulted in a market capitalisation of £2.16 billion. But City analysts were disappointed after a meeting with Ashley and his team which failed to answer key financial queries. At the end of the first day shares had dropped to 281p.

Meanwhile, news that directors at Debenhams had bought 600,000 company shares quelled any takeover talk at the department store chain. Shares climbed 17p to 178p.

Alexon broker Merrill Lynch changed its recommendation from buy to hold due to a tough market. Shares rose 1p to 200p.

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