Market Report: Quindell falls to eight-month low

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The Independent Online

Insurance claims outsourcer Quindell fell to an eight-month low and saw almost £200m wiped off its value yesterday, after plans for a Premium Listing collapsed.

Four days after saying it was still working on its application, Quindell admitted it wouldn't be able to meet the criteria. The Aim-listed company claimed it was a victim of its own success after its rapid expansion into new areas such as telematics. Listing rules require a consistent business model for three years to allow investors to assess prospects.

Quindell, 3.5p lower at 14p, is now mulling a North American listing.

The FTSE 100 slipped 34.68 points to 6,838.87, with little conviction about. Johnson Matthey, down 43p at 3,247p, and Vodafone, 9.45p lower at 199.4p, were both trading ex-dividend. EasyJet lost 63p to 1530p and British Airways-owner IAG dropped 12.6p to 400p, after a steep profit warning from rival airline Lufthansa.

Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell brewer SABMiller retreated 65p to 3,395p on a downgrade from Shore Capital. Revived takeover rumours helped it rise earlier this week, but the broker thinks SABMiller's current valuation is now too high.

With SAB on the wane, chatter turned to consumer goods giant Unilever. Traders speculated that the pot of cash first thought to be for SABMiller is actually intended for the Ben & Jerry's to Lynx maker, down 7p at 2,678p. A private equity bid could be around the £40-a-share mark.

News that extremists have seized the oil-rich province of Mosul in Iraq hit companies searching for black gold in the country. Genel Energy slipped 58.5p to 968.5p, Afren was 6.8p lower at 144.2p and Gulf Keystone Petroleum lost 9p to 91.5p.

Posh kitchen specialist John Lewis of Hungerford slid 0.22p to 1.7p on Aim, after admitting that the cost of two new showrooms will hit this year's operating profits.

"Serial disappointer" Orosur Mining might be losing its bad reputation, according to Whitman Howard, after a strong set of full-year results. The Uruguay-focused gold miner rose 0.76p to 13.01p after it beat its 60,000-ounce production target.