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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
people
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
Arts and Entertainment
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
tv'Friends' cafe will be complete with Gunther and orange couch
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
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

SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

KYC Analyst, Birmingham - £200-£250 p/d

£200 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: KYC Analyst, Key Banking Client, Bi...

Test Manager - Banking - Yorkshire - £450 per day

£400 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Test Manager - Banking - West Yorkshire - £400-£5...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone