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.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
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

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

Technical Support Analyst (C++, Windows, Linux, Perl, Graduate)

£30000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global leader in trading platforms and e...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice