NEWS that Gefinor, a little-known international merchant bank, was

supporting Celtic's Cambuslang venture came as a shock to the few

members of the Scottish financial community that had even heard of the

group, writes COLIN McSEVENY.

''This kind of deal is simply not their scene at all,'' said Mr Keith

Falconer of Martin Currie, an Edinburgh-based fund management group that

runs the Scottish World Fund, a unit trust, for the family-run company.

Little is known about the low-profile investment bank, which is quoted

and registered in the Luxembourg stock exchange and runs offices in the

Lebanon, London, and Paris from its Geneva base.

''We probably know as much as anybody in the UK about Gefinor, and I

certainly had heard nothing about the proposed Celtic deal,'' said Mr

Falconer, clearly bewildered by the development.

In what Celtic supporters are likely to view as an ominous sign,

telephone callers to Gefinor's London office encountered only an

answering machine -- that did not work properly.