Market Report: LSE tempts techs on to new market

California's Silicon Valley appears to have it all if you are a tech firm: money available from entrepreneurs and government, and a network of tech specialists that is the envy of the world. For the UK, no matter how much Silicon Roundabout, Fen or Glen is marketed as east London's, Cambridge's or Scotland's answer to the Valley, the numbers just don't add up.

But the London Stock Exchange is trying to do its bit to attract the next Apple or Facebook to list in London. On Wednesday it released further details of its new High Growth Segment – a stepping stone between AIM and a premium listing to encourage technology and other high-growth firms to consider listing in London.

There have been no IPOs in the technology sector in Europe since 2010, sparking concerns that the UK is missing out on companies that could one day become technology giants. The move to create the High Growth Segment – for companies valued at about £300m with compound growth rate of 20 per cent over the last three years – will of course be welcomed. But research from tech experts at Deloitte has found that small tech firms on AIM are not in short supply. Deloitte highlights that no UK technology companies have listed in the US in the past three years, whereas during the same period over 30 UK tech groups listed on AIM.

John Hammond, partner at Deloitte, said: "Our analysis shows that smaller UK technology companies have, for some while, been choosing London rather than the US. AIM has been doing its job as an incubator for UK companies. What is exciting about the launch of the High Growth Segment is that larger UK technology now have a real alternative, and that can only be a good thing for London."

AIM looked as if it was losing one small tech tiddler. The Dundee-based cash-machine software group I-Design received an £8.5m takeover offer from the UK arm of the American ATM operator Cardtronics. It recommended shareholders accept the offer and the shares shot up 36p to 59p.

During afternoon trade, the FTSE 100 index reached a five-year high and edged above the 6,377 mark. But it fell back before the close – mimicking Wall Street which fell back in early trade – and finished the day up 20.7 points to 6,359.11.

A number of stocks going ex-dividend held back the blue-chip index. AstraZeneca was one of them, down 68.5p to 2,950p. But UBS issued a note stating the buy case for the pharmaceuticals group.

There has been plenty of speculation about corporate activity at the telecoms group Vodafone, focused on its US joint venture. But news emerged that it was considering a £5bn-plus takeover of Kabel Deutschland. The shares responded by declining 1.85p to 171.65p.

Water experts at JPMorgan played down the chances of mergers in the utilities sector. Morgan's Edmund Reid and Chris Gallagher think "the closer we get to Ofwat's 2014 price review, the less likely a bid becomes".

Mr Reid and Mr Gallagher are so sure of the adverse effects of regulation – including the Water Bill due before Parliament this year – that they have slashed the rating of their "favoured UK water utility", Pennon. They now rate Pennon neutral or hold – down from buy – but have slightly increased their share-price target to 695p. Shares in the water and waste group trickled down 2.5p to 676p. Severn Trent, down 1p to 1,610p, is rated as neutral with a share-price target of 1,520p. Vague rumours that United Utilities is a bid target have been doing the rounds for months, but the JPMorgan team rates the stock neutral with a price target of 720p. The shares slipped 0.5p to 729.5p.

Top of the table on the benchmark index was the explorer Tullow Oil. Its results were in line with forecasts, and it reported a 5 per cent spurt in full-year operating profit. It added that its Kenyan well, Twiga South-1, reported better-than-expected results and the shares gushed 80p higher to 1,260p.

Plans for cost-cutting at the Tanzania-focused miner African Barrick Gold sent its shares to the bottom of the mid-cap index, down 39p to 302p. Sale talks for the miner, initiated by its parent company Barrick Gold, collapsed in January, and it said it would now focus on cutting costs.

One mid-tier dweller still the subject of vague bid rumour was Man Group. The hedge-fund shares have risen more than 20 per cent since the start of the month and added 3.5p to 108.6p.

Conroy Gold and Natural Resources appointed Seamus FitzPatrick as deputy chairman as rumours circulated that partner Goldfields may be interested in a joint venture. The shares sparkled up 0.58p to 2.38p.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
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

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Java Developer - Banking - London - Up to £560/day

£500 - £560 per day: Orgtel: Java Developer FX - Banking - London - Up to £560...

HR Business Analyst, Bristol, £350-400pd

£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Account Manager - (Product & Account Management, Marketing)

£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Account Manager - (Produc...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on