Market Report: Elizabeth Buse has a tough job on her hands


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Elizabeth Buse has a tough job on her hands.

The former Visa executive became sole chief executive of mobile payment business Monitise yesterday, as founder and co-chief executive Alastair Lukies stepped back to a consultancy role. Once a leading light in UK technology, Monitise shares have tumbled 80 per cent since their high a year ago, as the business struggled. It fell a further 5p to 13p yesterday as it revealed that efforts to sell the business have been called off as the offers weren’t good enough. The plan now is to “transform and streamline” the business.

As hopes of one tech takeover dwindled, another appeared. Customer service software maker Kofax announced US printer maker Lexmark has made a $1bn (£670m) bid for the company, sending shares rocketing 299.5p to 732.5p.

Kofax was a rare winner in the sector, which tumbled after a major sell-off of technology stocks in the US. Microchip-maker Arm Holdings was the worst performer on the FTSE 100, down 73p at 1,127p, followed by accountancy software maker Sage, off 13.2p at 468.5p. The slump left the FTSE 100 shouldering a 28.71 point loss to 6,990.97.

Oil rallied, with BG Group climbing 14.9p to 895.7p, BP putting on 4.2p to 448.35p, and Royal Dutch Shell improving 11p to 2,200.5p. A robust trading update from travel agent Tui helped it top the Footsie, up 31p at 1,214p.

Barclays slipped 6.55p at 251.9p after a downgrade from Investec’s banking guru Ian Gordon. The analyst no longer believes shares are trading at a bargain price.

The World Cup and Winter Olympics helped sports marketing and PR group Chime Communications’ profits grow 10 per cent last year; involvement in the upcoming Rugby World Cup means next year is looking good, too. Chime leapt 20.25p to 280p.

Eclectic Bar Group, which owns clubs and bars across the country, collapsed 41p to 51.5p on Aim, after reporting a slowdown recently and predicting that it would  continue. It blamed more responsible drinking during freshers’ weeks and “less predictable” students.