Reputation monitor: Virgin Mobile and NTL up as takeover talks begin

A proposed takeover of Virgin Mobile by NTL catapulted both firms into Reputation Monitor’s top five.

The broadcast industry is also expecting a fierce battle between NTL and BSkyB over the lucrative rights to show Premiership football.
French operator SFR Mobile meanwhile dropped into the bottom five. The firm and rivals Orange France and Bouygues Telecom were fined £361m by authorities for collusion.

Investment firm Langbar International (second from bottom) was hit by the disappearance of £365m from its accounts. The Serious Fraud Office is investigating the cash shortfall.

Asda beat Tesco to take first position. Its decision to sell 'Mr & Mr' and 'Mrs & Mrs' cards for newly introduced civil partnerships was a winner. But Tesco's talk of opening high-street telecoms stores and expanding in the US kept its news coverage positive.

HSBC's appointment of Stephen Green as chief executive got nods of approval across the banking sector. Green would have been pleased to join a company reporting a rise in profits. Its move to second position was cemented by a 10.5p share rise to 936.5p.

Reputation Monitor is compiled from Thomson Intermedia's National News Index, a measure of media sentiment that excludes stock market reports and passing mentions.

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