Market Report: IAG shares climb higher after Qatar Airways boss signals the carrier could up its stake


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The Independent Online

Could Qatar be about to book a few more seats on British Airways?

BA’s owner International Airlines Group (IAG) cruised 13.5p higher to 569.5p yesterday after comments from the boss of Qatar Airways signalling the carrier could up its stake in IAG. Qatar bought a 9.99 per cent chunk of IAG in January and yesterday, speaking at an event in Berlin, its chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “We would like to increase our stake in IAG at a later date. We could add value to them and they will add value to us.” News of a 5.5 per cent rise in February traffic numbers and a buy recommendation from  Jefferies didn’t harm IAG’s progress either.

It was a day of dead cat bounces elsewhere. Barclays made up for its losses in the previous session, climbing 8.1p to 262.4p as Deutsche Bank upped its target price. The German investment bank believes this week’s results show Barclays is “on track”. And climbed 15.6p to 259p as it said the slump in the prior session had presented a good opportunity to buy shares at a knock down price.

Fresnillo fell 67p to 724.5p as it revealed a 40 per cent drop in pre-tax profit and a 12.5 per cent fall in revenues. The company blamed weak silver and gold prices for the slump, with chief executive Octavio Alvidrez rather sheepishly defending the performance as “reasonable”. Rival Randgold Resources also fell 211p to 4,786p on fears that it will have suffered a similar fate. The pair were the worst performers amid a wider slump for commodity companies. But the FTSE 100 managed to shrug it off and end the day 30.11 points higher at 6919.24. 

Afren investors are set for more suffering, with the cash-strapped oil and gas explorer warning yesterday that current refinancing deals would “substantially dilute” shareholders. The announcement came as Afren, off 2.49p at 6.6p, admitted it planned to default on a $15m interest payment on its bonds.

US money manager Baron Capital is building a stake in white goods retailer AO World, up 4.2p at 178.5p. Baron upped its holding to 7.74 per cent last Friday, having pushed its stake to 6.69 per cent on Thursday.