Market Report: Genie back in bottle at Coca-Cola HBC

City experts yesterday took the fizz out of a Greek bottling company on fears of a slowdown in the drinks market. The blue-chip bottler Coca-Cola HBC – once known as Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company – ran out of juice when analysts at the investment bank Nomura issued a warning about its growth prospects and hefty share price. The group, which bottles fizzy and still drinks for Coca-Cola and other brands, as well as bottling and distributing beer in parts of Europe, is a recent entrant to the blue-chip index. Its shares peaked in mid-September at 1,979p when a range of investors piled in, but Nomura thinks the "positive technical impact of inclusion in FTSE indices [is] likely to have run its course" for now.

Nomura also highlighted concerns over the "slower growth outlook for global beer" and a "slower volume growth trajectory" compared with its peak years of 2004-08.

Nomura's experts said Coca-Cola HBC looks expensive on a price/earnings ratio of 23.9 times earnings but does at least offer the long-term advantages of "strong market shares in key territories". In the short term Nomura rated it "reduce", down from neutral, and gave it a 1,500p price target for shares that fell 25p to 1,798p.

It looked better for the mid-cap drinks maker and Irn-Bru owner AG Barr. Analysts at the investment bank Canaccord Genuity expect it to have performed well as the favourable weather during the summer and autumn will have helped sales. The group has been improving costs and efficiencies and Canaccord noted that it "should also start to see cost savings from reduced distribution miles, lower inventory levels and enhanced organic growth" with the start of production at its Milton Keynes distribution unit. AG Barr rose 26p to 528p.

The wider market was buoyed by upbeat traders who assumed the US Federal Reserve will not begin reducing monetary stimulus for some time. The FTSE 100 climbed 48.91 points to 6774.73 points.

Traders noted that data from the International Monetary Fund – showing Russia reduced gold reserves in September for the first time in a year – could hurt the gold price. Precious metal miners were subsequently weaker, with Randgold Resources down 89p to 4,762p and Mexico's Fresnillo tarnished 23p at 1,019p. The financial sector was also fragile and Lloyds Banking Group, after reporting a strong profit rise accompanied by a £750m PPI mis-selling charge, lost 1.61p to 78.01p.

Also loitering at the bottom of the benchmark index was explorer Tullow Oil after it plugged and abandoned another well. Punters were unhappy with the development, at the Wisting well off the coast of Norway, especially as it followed the update from Tullow on Monday that operations in Kenya's Turkana region had closed because of striking workers. Tullow is confident it can sort things out there, but after a 2.2 per cent tumble on Monday, the shares dipped another 2.19 per cent to 936p.

Oil giant BP had better news for investors in the shape of a 5.6 per cent dividend rise and it was top of the table, up 25.4p to 477.5p.

Marks & Spencer was 10.6p smarter at 485.6p on reports that its clothing sales have improved.

Housebuilders were popular after mortgage approvals data for September showed continued increases, and Persimmon built up a 31p gain to 1,255p.

Back on the mid-tier table, there have been on-and-off rumours about potential takeover activity at the hedge fund Man Group. Yesterday vague rumours returned that an American bank is taking a look again and Man added 2p to 91p.

Online grocer Ocado was also in favour and gained 24.6p to 430.5p.

The serviced-office group Regus suffered in the morning session as investors balked at its expensive expansion plans when it gave an update on its full-year results. But after taking in all the good news, traders pushed the shares up 1p to 205.8p.

The engineering and technology specialist China New Energy is in talks with Sunbird Bioenergy to develop a bio-refinery in Nigeria. The market cap of the group doubled as the shares jumped 3.05p to 3.675p.

China's Green Dragon Gas has agreed a deal with a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corporation and it hissed up 22p to 270p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test