Market Report: Genel curbs fears over Kurdish oil

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The Independent Online

Stop worrying about the risks of getting oil out of Kurdistan, City scribblers declared yesterday – Genel Energy has proved it is viable. UBS brokers think the fact former BP boss Tony Hayward's Genel has successfully managed to transport the lucrative black stuff out of the region is a reason to buy its shares.

There has been a political row between Iraq and its autonimous region about duties payable and the export of oil, but UBS said: "Kurdish oil has been reaching international markets by truck for several months with no apparent payment, legal or political issues."

The Aim-listed group, which is run by Mr Hayward with the former Goldman Sachs banker Julian Metherell as finance director, has recently reported a run of good news with strong drilling results from wells at Chia Surkh, Tawke Deep, Ber Bahr and Bina Bawi that UBS thinks has not been appreciated by the market.

They also think the market is undervaluing the company's frontier explorations in Morocco and Malta.

UBS rated it a buy with a 1,035p price target because of these "positive drilling results" and the fact the "risks around exports … from Kurdistan are starting to diminish".

The shares gushed 18.5p to 943.5p but are still below their 2011 float price of 1,000p.

Genel was founded by Nat Rothschild, who retains more than a 7 per cent stake and has certainly been a better investment than his Bumi exploits.

Yesterday, Indonesian coal specialist Bumi agreed to buy the 23.8 per cent stake that Indonesia's powerful Bakrie family holds, a deal which sets up a battle with Mr Rothschild.

The news came after it was confirmed that current chairman Samin Tan was looking to buy the stake in order to clear-up Bumi's convoluted ownership structure.

Mr Rothschild, Bumi's co-founder and 15 per cent shareholder, attacked the proposal, arguing that it would give Mr Tan too much control of the business. If the deal goes through, Mr Tan will own nearly half of Bumi's shares.

Bumi's shares have been suspended since April, amid an investigation which showed $201m (£133m) had gone missing in a key unit.

The benchmark index was back on form after a blip on Tuesday. Signs that the Federal Reserve will maintain its economic stimulus longer than previously expected cheered traders. The FTSE 100 recovered 38.45 points to 6,543.41. The update from the Fed sent metal prices up again which whet the appetite of punters to riskier stocks. Eight miners were in the top 10 risers with Mexican gold and silver explorer Fresnillo leading the way, up 114.5 p to 1,018p.

On the mid-cap index, Britvic lost some sparkle after its rival drinks group AG Barr finally walked away from their proposed merger. A £1.9bn deal originally agreed in November was delayed because of a Competition Commission inquiry, which finally cleared a merger earlier this week. But by then Britvic had decided the deal was no longer beneficial and AG Barr yesterday revealed the Robinsons squash group had rejected a new, better, offer. Irn Bru owner AG Barr fizzed up 0.5p to 522p as it said it would not make another offer; Britvic fell 10p to 512p. SuperGroup added 49p to 858p on growing sales as it reported annual pre-tax profits of £51.8m.

Recruiter Hays was 4.9p better off at 99.9p when it announced a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter, boosted by a better UK jobs market.

Centaur Media, the under-pressure publisher of The Lawyer and Marketing Week, said sales had fallen 3 per cent in the year to June, but pre-tax profits before exceptional items should be up 8 per cent. It published a 1.25p gain to 38.75p.

Flogging mobile phones from shops on the high street is no longer a licence to print money the City warned and that means it is time to ditch Carphone Warehouse.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley said they think the sales growth for mobiles is nearing "maturity" and the "market is becoming distinctly unattractive" so Carphone's business model across Europe is flawed.

They said Carphone has "outlined plans to offer its know-how and IT platforms to third-party retailers" and "this could become a material profit generator", but with few details of how this will work it is difficult to value.

Until there is more detail, Morgan Stanley rated it underweight with a 165p price target but it was static at 248p.

Pottery group Portmeirion has bought the long leasehold of its Stoke-on-Trent head office and the company made a 12.5p gain to 642.5p.

Communications group Communisis has won a contract with Lloyds Banking Group and was 12.5p better off at 67p.

Tiddler Conroy Gold and Natural Resources produced a positive mineral report and it edged up 0.2p to 1.52p.