MARKET REPORT: Stand-alone Centrica's prospects push it to new high

Centrica, the old British Gas supply arm, flared to its highest since becoming a stand-alone company in January.

The shares jumped 5.75p to 86.5p in often busy trading as some in the stock market took the view it had a far brighter future than was generally believed.

SBC Warburg has for long suggested the shares were undervalued. And Panmure Gordon is believed to be on the verge of publishing a 55-page buy circular, suggesting the price should be around 125p.

Since the British Gas demerger Centrica has had a volatile time. Early takeover speculation drove the shares to 75p but then the market became convinced the company, with its North Sea take-and-pay disasters, was a demerger from hell and the shares hit 56.25p.

Centrica is showing a surprising ability to renegotiate its problem contracts and earlier this month achieved what is expected to be the first of a series of continental gas supply deals.

On the downside is the windfall tax which, at around pounds 200m, is perhaps more than Centrica had expected and indications of further regulatory difficulties.

BG, the old British Gas, fell 2p to 239.5p; it has recently been up to 251.5p.

The rest of the market had another indecisive session. After a see-saw display Footsie ended with an 11.6-point fall to 4,862.9 with higher interest rate fears and a subdued New York dampening enthusiasm.

Boots, recently stretching to new highs, fell 29p to 787p following a lacklustre trading statement and Imperial Chemical Industries lost 17p to 908p following figures every bit as dismal as the market had expected.

Mercury Asset Management, weak recently, gained 58p to 1,338p but other financials were neglected.

Although LVMH disclosed it was still selling Guinness to buy Grand Metropolitan the spirit and stout group managed a 7p gain to 598.5p; GrandMet rose 2p to 619p.

Zeneca had an eventful session as doubts were cast on its important Accolate asthma drug. But it was quick to respond, saying there was no causal relationship between Accolate and a rare flu-like condition which could be fatal. After falling 48p, the shares finished at 2,052.5p, off 10.5p.

Inspirations, following the 75p-a-share offer from Carlson Leisure, a US group, gained 10p to 71.5p. Insurance broker Willis Corroon added 2.5p to 132.5p after the acquisition of 33.36 per cent of a French broker, Gras Savoye & Cie.

Kingfisher, bidding for full control of BUT, a French electrical and furniture retailer, fell 15p to 701.5p.

Glynwed, the engineer which like so many industrial groups is suffering from sterling's strength, fell 5p to 197p, lowest since 1993; the shares were 370p last year.

Ted Baker, a fashion group, closed at 139.5p against a 135p placing.

Gremlin, a computer games operation, traded at 146.5p from a 159p placing. Aminex, with oil and gas interests in the former Soviet Union, fell 6p to 77.5p after confirming the extension of its operations in Tatarstan.

It is raising pounds 11.3m through a placing of 10 million shares on a one- for-ten basis at 75p.

The company believes its oil production will top 17,000 barrels a day by 2,001 before any input from Idellill, a company formed to exploit up to 15 oil fields in Tatarstan.

Aminex will have 35 per cent of the venture. Last year Aminex average production was 1,500 barrels a day.

Bakyrchik, the Russian gold miner once nudging 600p, fell 8.5p to 15p.

Bluebird, the toys group. edged forward 2.5p to 92.5p as Guinness Peat, the Sir Ron Brierley vehicle, lifted its interest to 8 per cent.

Britton, the packaging and paper group hardened 1p to 57.5p. There are hopes the once high-flyer is on the verge of signing what could be a lucrative US contract.

Ennex International, indulging in investment meetings, was little changed at 22.5p. The company, now focusing on zinc, is estimated by Dublin stockbroker Davy to have potential assets of 73p a share.

Ennex International has an established zinc project in Pakistan but it is a development in Kazakstan which is intriguing followers.

Owen & Robinson, the retailer, fell 1.25p to 7.25p, lowest for more than two months. It has taken over, for pounds 6.5m, Capolito Roma, a fashion retailer.

Michael Abrams, who started Capolita 14 years ago with pounds 5,000, has become chief executive of the enlarged chain which takes in the 50 strong Foothold shops, selling trendy footwear.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living