Market Report: M&A speculation continues to swirl around Vodfone

 

Vodafone was heavily traded yesterday as mergers and acquisitions (M&A) speculation continued to swirl around the under-pressure telecoms major.

It has reportedly made a €7bn (£5.8bn) bid for Spain’s largest cable operator Ono, after weeks of talk around a potential deal.

Vodafone will be keen to get a jump on its US rival, Liberty Global, which has also been linked to Ono, after reporting its seventh-consecutive quarter of falling revenue last week.

Alastair McCaig, a market analyst at IG, said: “In view of the billions that will still be left over in the pot, it seems unlikely this will be the last M&A activity for Vodafone in 2014.”

Scribblers at Goldman Sachs agree, rating the firm a buy – but they think Vodafone could also be an acquisition target. Last month the US telecoms giant AT&T was forced to deny speculation it was planning a bid, disqualifying it from making any moves for six months. Vodafone closed flat at 222p.

Buoyant gold and silver prices sent Fresnillo to the top of the Footsie, up 70p at 863.25p, while Randgold Resources added 106p to 4,528p. On the mid-cap index, African Barrick Gold also made big gains, rising 14.9p to 239p.

UBS tipped Anglo American’s Brazilian iron ore project Minas-Rio for big things, calling the site, due to start production at the end of this year, a “game changer”. Anglo dug up 21p to 1,501p.

After crude prices rallied last week, oilfield services provider Petrofac had an upgrade from HSBC to overweight, drilling up 37p to 1232.5p.

But gains on the benchmark index were tempered by uncertainty surrounding utilities.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey’s calls for an inquiry into gas profits at the “Big Six” providers sent British Gas-owner Centrica 5.3p lower to 308.8p, while SSE also slumped 6p to 1349.5p.

G4S was another loser, down 6.1p at 229p, after a downgrade from Panmure Gordon, which said there were “too many dark clouds on the horizon” for the outsourcing giant.

Hargreaves Lansdown continued to feel the effects of last week’s disappointing update, falling 49p to 1305p.

The FTSE 100 rose 19.87 points to reach 6,591.55.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
News
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own