Market Report: Cove Energy still in demand as one bidder quits

 

And three became two. The battle for Cove Energy took another twist yesterday after one of the three potential bidders threw in the towel. Yet despite the Indian consortium made up of Oil & Natural Gas Corp and Gail India deciding to pull out, that did nothing to quench the punters' thirst for the Mozambique-focused driller.

Even though just Royal Dutch Shell and Thailand's PTT remain in the fight, the Aim-listed oil explorer moved close to a record high by rising 2p to 266p.

Punters are banking on the highest bid currently on the table – worth 240p-a-share from PTT – being dwarfed by a counter offer from Shell (up 4.5p to 2,193p), which last week gave itself more time in which to consider its options by extending the deadline for its 220p-a-pop approach.

Although Shell at the time chose not to increase its offer, hopes in the Square Mile are certainly high that it will and there are no shortage of numbers being thrown around.

Dealers highlighted talk that the energy giant may offer up to 300p, while there was some hopeful speculation it could go even higher.

Reports over the weekend were more tempered, however, claiming the most Shell may be considering paying is 275p. Of course, it could also decide not to raise its offer at all – if so, there will be no shortage of burnt fingers.

An early gain was swiftly erased as the FTSE 100 closed just 12.28 points higher at 5,491.09, with any joy following the Greek elections disappearing amid continuing fears over Spain.

There was no bounce for the banks – Royal Bank of Scotland retreated 12.3p to 2353p while Lloyds dipped 1.14p to 30.16p despite being chosen by UBS as one of the broker's favourite European stocks.

It was a mixed day for the commodity stocks as Xstrata and Glencore were pegged back 31.8p to 859.2p and 12.05p to 328.4p respectively, with many still fearful investors will reject the proposed merger between the two.

Elsewhere, Evraz – part-owned by Roman Abramovich, pictured – advanced 4.2p to 275p as it held its annual general meeting. Traders noted the steel maker has shed more than a quarter of its share price since early May.

Despite being in the midst of Euro 2012 – a perfect excuse for football fans to raise their booze intake – there were some worries around the brewers.

Given the poor weather across Europe over the past few months, analysts at Exane BNP Paribas warned that any boost from events in Poland and Ukraine were likely to be offset by the rain.

"Simply put, we believe that the match pitting Euro 2012 v dreadful weather will be won by the latter," they argued.

However, they did point out that Grolsch-owner SABMiller may not be so badly hit because its exposure is wider than some of its rivals, and with perfect timing there came the news that full-year profits at its subsidiary Tanzania Breweries had gained more than a third, helping SAB up 24.5p to 2,478.5p.

Upmarket retailer Burberry strutted up 38p to 1,346p after Deutsche Bank's scribblers said that the "luxury sector has never had it so good".

Meanwhile, Wolseley fans were out in force. Sam Cullen from Jefferies claimed that the builders' merchant could end up returning as much as £1.5bn to shareholders, while Citigroup's Clyde Lewis said he believed the group – which powered up 57p to 2,233p – had the potential to be worth a massive 5,000p by 2015.

It was a tough first day for Footsie newboy Babcock International, with the defence services group retreating 7p to 865p. Meanwhile, Man Group – which made way for it by dropping into the FTSE 250 – eased up 1.6p to 74.4p following the surprise departure of its finance director, Kevin Hayes.

Elsewhere on the mid-tier index, Ferrexpo climbed 7.6p to 209.9p as long-standing takeover speculation made yet another reappearance.

Gem Diamonds was driven back 7.8p to 201.2p after announcing that, following a tragic accident at its Ghangoo mine in Botswana which killed two workers, production at the site would now be delayed until the first six months of 2014.

Down on Aim, Invista was lifted 2.25p to 14.62p by the news that the property company had received and agreed to a £40m offer from investment manager Palmer Capital which gazumped an earlier approach from Internos Real Investments.

FTSE 100 Risers

Ashmore 340.9p (up 9.9p, 2.99 per cent) Having dropped sharply at the end of last week, fund manager manages a decent rebound despite JP Morgan Cazenove cutting its target price to 335p from 385p.

Rolls-Royce 839.5p (up 17.5p, 2.13 per cent) Engineering giant climbs as it announces that it has signed a nuclear submarines contract worth more than £1bn with the Ministry of Defence.

FTSE 100 Fallers

ICAP 362.2p (down 3.3p, 0.9 per cent) Interdealer broker finishes the session in the red after shareholders at PLUS Markets approve the sale of the stock market to ICAP for £500,000.

Anglo American 2,128.5p (down 1.5p, 0.07 per cent) Miner edges back despite analysts at UBS deciding to keep their "buy" recommendation, although they do cut their target price to 3,100p from 3,260p.

FTSE 250 Risers

Cable & Wireless Worldwide 37.77p (up 2.74p, 7.82 per cent) Telecoms company tops the mid-tier index after announcing that shareholders have decide to approve Vodafone's takeover approach.

Home Retail 74.35p (up 4.5p, 6.44 per cent) The Argos-owner shoots up ahead of today's interim management statement following yet more takeover speculation over the weekend.

FTSE 250 Fallers

Petropavlovsk 472.2p (down 22.3p, 4.51 per cent) Having gained more than a fifth during the last two sessions, investors take profits in the gold miner as the price of yellow metal moves back.

Grainger 83.1p (down 3.6p, 4.15 per cent) Property investor's torrid run continues, with the latest fall meaning the stock has lost nearly eight per cent during six consecutive sessions in the red.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Technical Software Consultant (Excel, VBA, SQL, JAVA, Oracle)

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...

SQL DBA/Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Data Warehousi...

.NET Developer

£650 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM,...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor