Market Report: Analysts speculate Ader may push for a break up of bwin.party

 

Bwin.party's management came under fire from the US activist investor SpringOwl yesterday, despite the group's appointment of the former 3i chief executive Philip Yea as its new chairman.

SpringOwl, which disclosed a 6.1 per cent stake in bwin.party in February, largely ignored the announcement of Mr Yea's arrival, instead focusing on an 8 per cent decline in quarterly revenues compared to last year.

Jason Ader, the ex-Wall Street gaming analyst who heads SpringOwl, criticised "the continuation of negative trends" at the gaming group and said: "We continue to question whether the choices and decisions made by this board are in line with the goal of restoring shareholder value". Analysts speculate that Ader may push for a break-up of the bwin.party, down 1.1p at 123.9p.

The Aim-listing gaming group GVC fared better, jumping 18.5p to 398.5p, after revealing that profits more than doubled last year to €38.3m (£31.6m).

After a two-day sell-off, markets around the world settled yesterday and traders in London were sniffing about for bargains. Housebuilders recovered and some tech stocks made a turnaround: the microchip designer ARM Holdings, up 44.5p at 1029p, and Imagination Technologies, 12.2p better at 208p, were notable movers. The FTSE 100 closed up 44.92 points at 6,635.61.

Standard Chartered climbed higher after kind words from Ian Gordon at Investec. While first-half results will struggle to beat last year, Mr Gordon thinks the company could rocket as emerging markets start to recover. StanChart added 36.5p to 1,327p.

Car insurers had a tough time after Shore Capital said the latest report on the industry makes for "grim reading", with premiums continuing to fall. Admiral fell 9p to 1,392p, Direct Line was off 5.4p at 233.4p and esure, trading ex-dividend, lost 23.7p to 244p.

On the mid-cap index, the construction services firm Carillion leapt 19p to 379.4p after a ratings upgrade and hefty target price hike from Cantor Fitzgerald. The broker thinks the business is in good shape thanks to a growing order book and the downsizing of its UK arm.

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