Market Report: ENRC hits the top on stakebuilding

 

All eyes were on ENRC yesterday as the City speculated on the motive behind Russian billionaire Suleyman Kerimov’s stakebuilding in the troubled Kazakh miner. ENRC, which is the subject of a Serious Fraud Office investigation into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption, has seen its shares fall more than 17 per cent since the claims emerged.

The three founders of the miner, Alexander Machkevitch, Patokh Chodiev and Alijan Ibragimov, have been trying to raise cash to take the digger private with fellow shareholder, the Kazakh government. The group owns 54 per cent of the company and has until 17 May to make a bid.

But Mr Kerimov, who has a large stake in London-listed Polyus Gold International and is ranked as Russia’s 20th-richest person by Forbes, has spent this week stakebuilding.

Yesterday it emerged his shareholding reached 3.05 per cent. One theory doing the rounds was Mr Kerimov is working with the founders to help buy up stock that had been out on loan and will work with them if they make their bid this month.

The market reacted well to the speculation. ENRC jumped 30.3p to 292.7p and took the top spot on the blue-chip index.

ENRC was riding a wave of money piling in to equities across the index. Good news on United States jobs data pushed up the stock markets with the S&P 500 climbing beyond 1,600 and the Dow Jones reaching above 15,000, both for the first time. The FTSE 100 closed the day near to its five-year high. It added 60.75 points to 6,521.46, its highest since 14 March this year.

But the strong sentiment for equities failed to help Royal Bank of Scotland. The taxpayer-owned bank reported an £826m pre-tax profit for the first three months of 2013, the first quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2011. But it was below expectations and the shares crashed 17.5p to 289.8p, taking the wooden spoon.

Reports that the Government is abandoning plans to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products helped cigarette makers’ shares.  Yesterday analyst at Panmure Gordon said the news “should provide a fillip” for Imperial Tobacco, led by Alison Cooper, and rated it a buy at 2,650p. But it failed to light up just yet and was 12p worse off at 2,358p.

Over on the mid-cap index, the hedge fund specialist Man Group’s plan to repurchase all its outstanding debt was welcomed by shareholders and it advanced 13.7p to 120p. But its first-quarter results were not appetising reading; it said assets under management dropped to $54.8bn (£35.2bn) from $57bn at the start of the year.

The City’s best-known activist investor increased his stake in private-equity group 3i, leaving the Square Mile guessing his next move. Edward Bramson’s turnaround specialist Sherborne Investors revealed it owns 4.9 per cent of the group, a £127m stake, a position that has been growing since it was revealed in January.

Sherborne is well known for building up stakes in underperforming companies before calling for a shake-up in management. But analysts have this time questioned how Mr Bramson will proceed.

3i chief executive Simon Borrows joined a year ago, and has started a successful turnaround of the group, including cost-cutting. The shares have soared more than 90 per cent since then. Liberum Capital’s Rob Jones said that even if Sherborne invested all its capability, it would still only own around 8 per cent.

He added: “We believe they are more likely to sell down their stake and take profits rather than continue to…increase their exposure.”

The shares ticked up 1.3p to 334.4p.

Electronic components maker Laird was hit by falling revenue from its largest customer, thought to be Apple. It makes components for devices including smartphones, and said first-quarter revenue slipped back by 2 per cent. Its shares tumbled 9.2p to 207p.

Another Apple supplier, microchip designer Imagination Technologies, on Thursday issued a profit warning.

But analysts at Morgan Stanley said buy the shares as they think there is still an “upside to royalty revenues”. The shares dipped 0.5p to 314.9p.

The private-equity bidder in talks to buy AIM-listed celebrity jeweller Theo Fennell has been given a sixth extension to the “put up or shut up” deadline.

The talks have dragged on since September and EME Capital now has until the end of May to make a bid. The shares were static at  9.25p.

Buy

Direct Line

Pile into Direct Line, is the call from Numis Securities. After the insurer’s figures yesterday, Numis’s Nick Johnson says the group “appears firmly on track to deliver its performance targets”. Although he warns that he expects “current uncertainties with motor insurance to be a drag on near-term share price performance”, his target of 265p is a long way north of Direct Line’s current share price of around 201.6p.

Sell

Morrisons

Get rid of shares in Morrisons, is the advice of Espirito Santo. The supermarket is unveiling its first-quarter figures on Thursday, and while the broker’s analyst Caroline Gulliver is expecting an “improving trend...as the year progresses”, she adds that she expects new finance director Trevor Stain “to lower margin expectations, in due course”. She has a price target of 230p for shares which are currently around 293p.

Hold

BSkyB

Keep shares in BSkyB, says Investec. The satellite broadcaster announced numbers for the first three months of the year on Thursday, and the broker is sticking with its hold recommendation “ahead of a ‘noisy summer’” thanks to rival BT’s expansion of its sports programming. However, it has raised its price target to 880p. BSkyB currently trades at roughly 860p.

Life and Style
tech
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
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

Test Lead - Financial Reporting - Banking - London

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Banking, Financial Reporting, ...

Business Analyst, Retail Bank, £375-400p/d

£375 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

PMO Analyst - London - Banking - £350 - £400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: PMO Analyst - Banking - London - £350 -£400 per d...

Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game