Market Report: Spotlight on BT as takeover talk keeps Footsie moving
Tuesday 11 November 1997
Footsie ended 42.5 points higher at 4,806.8 although volume remained subdued. More settled Far Eastern markets and the latest Merrill Lynch survey showing fund managers more confident about shares helped sentiment. But it was the conclusion of BT's much-criticised US adventure and another round of stories about further financial consolidation which really gave the stock market something to latch on to.
BT, easily the most actively traded share, was dialled 11p higher to 465p as the market drooled over the likely direction of the near $7.5bn which is due to flow into its coffers. Another special dividend; another bid?
The telecommunications giant paid a 35p a share special dividend in September as part of its MCI involvement. Then, of course, it was blissfully unaware of the counter-bids which would destroy its American dream of absorbing MCI as part of its bid to become a global force.
With its international aspirations in tatters, BT needs a new target - Cable & Wireless, which it once came close to taking over, emerged as the market's favourite.
C&W, weighed down lately by its Hong Kong connection, rose 15.5p to 481.5p. Last year on-off merger talks with BT collapsed, ending hopes of creating what would then have been a pounds 34bn group.
Securicor, up 10p at 283.5p, could also enjoy a BT dial-in. BT controls with Securicor the Cellnet mobile telephone network and has made no secret of its desire to take full control. In the past Whitehall has blocked such ambitions but a change of Government and BT's necessity to be a world power could prompt a rethink.
Legal & General, at one time up 20p, was another to attract attention. The insurance group, to the surprise of some, suddenly emerged as a possible target for Barclays, still struggling to sell its securities operations.
The big banks are known to be casting around. And an inspired insurance deal would do much to restore Barclays' image after its BZW fiasco. Norwich Union, 4.5p stronger at 361.5p, remains the market's favourite for either Barclays, 30p up at 1.512p, or Lloyds TSB, 8p firmer at 7747p.
Hambros, said to have turned down a German approach, rose 7p to 257.5p and Schroders continued to experience its order-driven trading roller- coaster, gaining 74p to 1,700p. Abbey National improved 26.5p to 976p.
Despite new reports of poor sales EMI spun 12p higher to 500p and Rank, on talk of Hard Rock Cafe expansion, edged ahead 3p to 345p.
Not all telephone shares made headway. Ionica had another dismal session, finding yet a new low of 277.5p, off 22p. The shares arrived in the summer at more than 400p.
Takeover action among the second-liners was again evident. Ransomes, the lawnmower group, improved 9.5p to 57.5p on an pounds 83.2m US bid and debt collector Intrum Justitia added 17.5p to 91p on the possibility of a management buyout.
Cairn Energy flared 23.5p to 452p after an encouraging Bangladesh progress report. The shares were 634.5p in March.
RioTinto, the resources giant, hardened 14.5p to 765p, helped along by Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and Societe Generale Strauss Turnbull support; Bass was encouraged by a Goldman Sachs recommendation, up 14p at 824p.
Havelock Europa, the shopfitter battered last week by a profits warning, firmed 1.5p to 153.5p as the nine-strong board waded into the market, buying 56,000 shares at 156p. The warning smashed the shares 108p to 142p.
American Port Services slipped 8.5p to 164p. The acquisitive transport group Jacobs has picked up nearly 2 million shares lifting its stake to 9.9 per cent. Jacobs' spree cost pounds 3.2m.
SFI, the old Surrey Free Inns, firmed 2p to 118.5p as stockbroker Henry Cooke Lumsden forecast a profits surge from pounds 2.2m to pounds 5m and then pounds 6.5m.
Tele-Cine-Cell, a broadcasting group, fell 4.5p to 40.5p after calling off talks with a potential bidder.
Malaysia Airlines plane crash exposes alarming flaw in airline security: over one billion flights made last year without stolen-passport check
Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Oil slicks in South China Sea ‘not from missing jet’, officials say
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 4 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 5 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£55000 - £70000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: In-House Corporat...
£80000 - £100000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: In-House Opportu...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Mixed Ta...