Date: Tuesday 29 Mar 2011
- Market Movers
- techMARK 1,880.74 +0.29%
- FTSE 100 5,932.17 +0.47%
- FTSE 250 11,636.37 -0.01%
LONDON (ShareCast) - The top share index staged a recovery ahead of the close, helped by Wall Street snapping out of a sluggish start.
BP was a laggard. One of the oil giant’s major shareholders, Standard Life, has told the oil giant to walk away from its troubled deal with Russian state oil company Rosneft.
BP wants to push ahead with the share-swap that would see it buy a 9.5% stake in Rosneft, taking its holding to 11%, while the Russian group would take 5% of the UK oil giant.
David Cumming, Standard Life's UK equities head, said in an interview: "At the moment we don't think BP has got a Plan B so unless there is some clear commercial benefit to BP shareholders for doing this deal ... we're not supportive at the moment," he told the BBC. Broker Collins Stewart has downgraded its rating on BP to “sell” from “hold”, partly due to the problems in Russia.
Copper miner Kazakhmys grew earnings by 74% last year thanks to higher metal prices. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) excluding special items jumped to $2.84bn in 2010. That includes $903m from its 26% stake in ENRC.
Building and plumbing supplies giant Wolseley was in demand after it bounced back into profit and reinstated its dividend as its core markets in Europe and the US both stabilised. Profits for the half year to January came in at £195m, compared to a loss of £261m, with trading profits up 64% at £275m. Revenues rose by 5% to £6.6bn. The interim dividend is 15p.
Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels moved higher after falling yesterday on the back of poor figures from US hotel group Marriott.
Hedge fund giant Man again needed the help of recent acquisition GLG as market uncertainty following the earthquake in Japan took its toll on its core AHL fund. Funds under management over the past three months edged up to $69bn from $68.6bn at December, though AHL’s performance “turned sharply down with markets after the Japanese earthquake but has since partially recovered”. A positive performance at GLG also counterbalanced a negative period for AHL, Man said.
Travel company Thomas Cook has kept its estimate of disruption from the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia to £20m and says, overall, the business is performing well. Bookings, capacity and booked load factors across all markets are lower than previously reported for winter season holidays though, mainly due to cancellations following the unrest in North Africa. But summer holiday bookings are ahead of last year in many areas.
Africa-focused oil and gas firm Afren notched up its first full year of post-tax profit in 2010. Though revenue eased to $319.4m in 2010 from $335.8m in 2009, profit before tax surged ahead to $78.8m from $0.5m the year before.
CPP Group collapsed after yesterday's announcement that the FSA has raised sales-related issues with its identity protection products and this will reduce its profit in 2011. The identity theft and credit card insurer said that the FSA is concerned about sales calls with customers. CPP has decided to suspend all new sales of identity protection via its own sales force.
Fashion retailer SuperGroup confirmed that its chief operating officer Diane Savory has decided to step down from the board and to leave the company for personal reasons. Savory will leave 6 May 2011 once the handover of her responsibilities to others in the group is completed.
There is talk of a bidding war breaking out for Crypotlogic, the online gaming software specialist that said last week it is considering putting itself up for sale. Trading volumes for the stock were unusually high on the NASDAQ exchange in the US yesterday.
Shares in outsourced services provider Mouchel plunged 29% after it rejected takeover offers from Interserve and Costain and as it posted a 73% drop in half year underlying profit. Mouchel said the offers, "significantly undervalue the business and that Costain's proposal has an unacceptably high level of execution risk to warrant further discussions.”
Exillon Energy, the oil company with assets at Timan-Pechora (TP) in Northern Russia and West Siberia (WS) has raised £93.8m ($150m) from a share placing. It sold 23.44m new shares at 400p each, giving it $42m to fund infrastructure projects in WS like oil processing facilities, infield pipelines, equipment for gas utilisation and power generation.
North Sea-focused oil group Faroe Petroleum saw losses widen in 2010 as it ramped up exploration activities. Revenues were up to £15.1m from £7m the previous year, but pre-tax losses widened to £26m from £11.8m.
Small company consultancy Strontium is delisting its shares from AIM as of 28 April.
An aeromagnetic survey commissioned by Mozambique-focused metals explorer Baobab Resources has shown up a new target at the flagship Tete iron/vanadium/titanium project.
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