Market Report: From oil to tech, deal fever is gripping the City


Deal fever is still gripping the City, with new rumours emerging daily.

Yesterday traders heard that Indonesian oil giant Pertamina is looking at Salamander Energy, the Asian operator that this week sold a 40 per cent stake in its Great Bualuang field in the Gulf of Thailand.

Salamander failed to find a buyer after putting itself on the block in May. But word is that the asset sale is tempting Pertamina to take a second look. Salamander climbed 1.5p to 115.5p.

Cloud computing firm iomart was also the subject of speculation, with talk circulating that it has rejected a £3 a share bid from an unnamed suitor. Iomart jumped 3p to 235p in volumes seven times its normal average.

Both these tales follow speculation that Weir, down 44p at 2,704p, could be planning a bid for Finnish mining services operator Outotec, which yesterday said it had yet to be approached.

The FTSE 100 was points treading water, just 2.81 points higher at 6,798.15. Outsourcer Capita was the best performer, up 55p at 1,210p on strong results, but those gains were tempered by a profit warning from GlaxoSmithKline, which fell 73.5p to 1,481.5p, and companies trading ex-dividend – SSE lost 43p to 1,498p, while London Stock Exchange slipped 26p to 1,920p.

Kazakhmys surprised the market by pulling off a tricky demerger. The Kazakhstan copper miner has been struggling with a host of unprofitable mines in its portfolio; pressure from the Kazakh government to keep jobs has prevented any from being shut. A restructure review was launched in February with news expected by September.

But yesterday Vladimir Kim, Kazakhmys’s former chairman, agreed to take on 11 of the mines. Kazakhmys was always planning to pay towards working costs but the company is handing over just $150m, much lower than analysts forecast.

It plans to rename itself KAZ Minerals, and now looks like a much better investment. Kazakhmys jumped 26p to 344.8p.

AIM-listed Astar Minerals climbed 0.22p to 2.95p after a Mexican Senate ruling paved the way to let private players into the country’s energy industry, which Astar is targeting.