BSkyB steals the show ahead of Pearson's pull-out

MARKET REPORT

BSkyB, the satellite television group dominated by Rupert Murdoch, stole the show as the stock market prepared for a substantial placing by Pearson, the banking to media group.

It is no secret that Pearson has lost interest in an investment in a company in which it has little, if any, influence.

The pounds 500m it is likely to realise from a 9.7 per cent BSkyB sale will be regarded as useful ammunition in its bid to develop its worldwide media operations under the direction of its TV chief, Greg Dyke.

BSkyB is due to announce year's figures today. The Pearson pull-out is thought likely to accompany the announcement, which is expected to show profits nudging pounds 160m against pounds 92.9m last time.

Since arriving on the market at 256p in December, BSkyB shares have overcome considerable scepticism among some securities houses and yesterday rose 5.5p to 342.5p. Pearson eased 4p to 633p. Granada, another BSkyB minority shareholder, gained 12p to 649p.

The market decided the latest Whitehall statistics lowered the chances of higher interest rates, and with the US dollar's recent strength encouraging international shares, the FT-SE 100 index shrugged off profit-taking to close 20.7 points higher at 3,465.1 in rather more active trading than has been seen in the past few weeks.

Anglian Water was the busiest blue chip as, through the stockbroker Cazenove, it completed a share buy-back, picking up 29.7 million shares (10 per cent) at 548p. Alan Smith, the group's managing director, appeared to exercise options to net a pounds 164,000 profit. The shares fell 2p to 546p. Southern Water, thought to be likely to follow Anglia's example, rose 20p to 678p.

Stockbroker reports caused the occasional stir. James Capel laid low David S Smith, the packaging group. It cut its forecast from pounds 135m to pounds 117m, reducing the shares 6p to 608p.

De La Rue, the security printing group, gained 6p to 893p as Kleinwort Benson made positive comments.

James Capel and the prospect of a US roadshow tickled Takare, the nursing homes group, 5p better at 202p, and Kleinwort continued to push Williams Holdings higher, up 8p at 317. Eurotherm, the electronics group, gained 10p to 485p on Barclays de Zoete Wedd support. Smith New Court enthusiasm lifted Reuters 12p to 548p. Henderson Crosthwaite's recommendation for Argyll was responsible for a further 7p gain to 349p

A rumoured buy recommendation from ABN Amro Hoare Govett powered GEC 6p ahead to 306p.

Grand Metropolitan, continuing its Pillsbury presentations in Scotland, rose 12.5p to 412.5p with the strength of the US dollar adding to the exuberance.

Others up on dollar considerations included BAT Industries, 14p to 512p, Cable and Wireless 16p to 424p and Hanson 4p at 219.5p.

Oils should have responded to the dollar's strength but worries that the Iraqi restrictions could soon end left British Petroleum 9p lower at 471p and Shell 9.5p off at 727.5p.

Inchcape continued its recuperation as the Japanese yen weakened, gaining a further 8.5p to 346p.

Northern Electric rose 19p to 914p as shareholders approved the benefits package originally produced to fend off the unwanted Trafalgar House bid. Panmure Gordon believes the shares should now enjoy a price of around 950p.

WPP, the advertising group, enjoyed Goldman Sachs support, up 7p to 145p.

The Telegraph responded to poor interim figures with a 20p fall to 393p and Parkside International, a packaging and paper group, fell 38p to 50p on a profits warning.

Alpha Airports' US setback continued to weigh on the shares, sending them 4p lower to 138p against last year's 140p flotation price.

McDonnell Information Systems, the struggling computer group, managed a 5.5p gain to 68p as the new management team picked up 63,000 shares at 67p.

Blagg, the builders' merchant where the ex-Swiss Bank Corporation executive Chris Akers has moved in, gained a further 1.25p to 16p. Owen Oyston, the Manchester entrepreneur, has snapped up a 5 per cent stake.

Birkdale, the marketing group that attracted ex-Rover man Kevin Morley, moved ahead another 1p to 7.75p.

VideoLogic rose 2p to 36p. There are hopes that some of the Microsoft magic will rub off on the shares following the launch later this month of the Windows 95 system.

Canadian Pizza flopped 10p to 95p awaiting bid developments. Steel Burrill Jones, the insurance broker in the bid frame, dropped 5p to 99p.

Bullers, the media to giftware group, succumbed 1p to 2p as Jim Slater and associates sold shares.

TAKING STOCK

r Upton & Southern, the retail group hit by the failure of its Reject Shop subsidiary, is likely to produce details of its reshaping next week. A fund-raising exercise, probably pounds 1.5m in convertible preference shares, is likely. New chairman Ron Trenter, who used to run the Texas DIY chain, is thought to have persuaded the group's bankers into a favourable deal and reduced the company's exposure to the Reject Shop subsidiary, which went into receivership. The shares held at 1.75p.

r CRP Leisure, suspended at 6p, has run into problems over its planned move into property and there are signs it will be unable to complete its takeover of the FGL Investments property business. The FGL deal should have gone through last month. It is thought CRP has now opened talks with another property group.

News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
Review: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
people
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features playground gun massacre
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Training Programme Manager (Learning and Development)-London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...

1st Line Support Technician / Application Support

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...

Team Secretary - (Client Development/Sales Team) - Wimbledon

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices