Market Report: Court ruling gives Pathfinder a boost

Shares in Pathfinder Minerals shot up like a rocket yesterday, more than doubling after the Aim-listed miner won a landmark, High Court ruling in a dispute with a former African director over who owns its key asset.

The company's shares jumped 1p to 1.87p, after Judge Richard Field ruled it had legally acquired the two titanium licences in Mozambique which represent the company's sole asset.

The judge rebutted claims by General Jacinto Soares Veloso, the former African director who remains a major shareholder in Pathfinder, that he and associates in fact own the licences, through Pathfinder Mocambique, a similar-sounding company that he set up.

But the General, whom the judge also blocked from interfering with Pathfinder Minerals, wasn't having any of it.

In a statement which will cause some discomfort to Pathfinder's shareholders, General Veloso's spokesman said he and his group "are confident that while it is likely to last several years for this case to be finally resolved, they will be successful in defending their rights of ownership under Mozambique law".

Pathfinder dismissed the General's comments, pointing to Judge Field's assertion in his judgement that "expert evidence" has persuaded him that the judgement is "likely to be recognised and enforced in Mozambique".

Still, the General's continued opposition may help explain why, even after yesterday's court ruling-inspired leap, Pathfinders' shares were still only trading at about half their level at the end of last year, before the ownership dispute came bursting into the open.

While Pathfinder's shares may have staged the mother of rallies yesterday, the FTSE 100 was subdued overall – in stark contrast to 25 years earlier to the day, when Black Monday wiped billions of pounds off its value. The FTSE 100 dipped by 20.9 points, or 0.3 per cent, to close at 5,896.15 points yesterday, as declines among banks and mining stocks tipped the index into negative territory.

Rio Tinto fell 59.5p to 3,200.5p and Xstrata lost 13.8p to end the day at 990.7p as continuing concerns about the Chinese economy fuelled fears that the world's biggest consumer of metals may lower the country's demand for their wares.

Meanwhile, Barclays fell by 6.85p to 233.85p and Lloyds Banking Group declined by 1.38p to 40.49p, amid uncertainty about the eurozone crisis.

BP dipped slightly, losing 1.65p to end the day at 450.4p, as the market eagerly anticipated an announcement on the future of the TNK-BP joint venture. The group is thought to have received a $28bn (£17bn) cash and shares offer for its half of the Russian joint venture from Rosneft which BP is expected to agree to and announce next week.

Elsewhere, housebuilder Redrow was among the biggest fallers, tumbling by 6.1p, or 3.75 per cent, to 156.4p after founder, chairman and 40 per cent shareholder Steve Morgan abandoned his mooted 165p-a-share offer for the rest of the company after the Takeover Panel deadline – twice extended – ran out with no agreement.

Mr Morgan was forced to throw in the towel amid concerns from investors such as Fidelity, the company's third-biggest shareholder with a 10 per cent stake, that his bid – made as part of a consortium which controlled more than 57 per cent of Redrow's shares – would be unfair to smaller shareholders.

Fidelity pointed out that the smaller shareholders would have little power to oppose the deal, which only needs 75 per cent acceptance to be voted through and argued that the price was too low.

The fallout from the strikes that have paralysed the South African mining industry continued yesterday with Shaft Sinkers, the mineshaft specialist, warning that disruptions would hit its bottom line. Its shares fell by xp to xp.

Shares in Spectris jumped by 185.0p, or 11.6 per cent, to 1,779.0p as the testing equipment maker reported a 12 per cent increase in third-quarter sales and said it was on track to deliver its expectations for the year.

The news was all the more cheering because it contrasted with recent profits warnings from Cookson, the materials technology group, and GKN, the car and plane parts maker, as tough markets in Europe and China took their toll on engineers.

Rank Group, the leisure group, reported an encouraging, 4 per cent increase in sales for the 15 weeks to 14 October, but its shares still dipped, by 1.2p to 151.2p, as the company said that the outlook remained challenging.

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