Market Report: Quindell is desperately trying to turn a corner


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Embattled insurance outsourcer Quindell is desperately trying to turn a corner, but as soon as it tries to put out one fire another seemingly starts.

The latest headache comes from Your Legal Friend, a rival of Quindell. Like Quindell, which handles outsourced insurance claims, Your Legal Friend deals with road accident litigation cases. But in a change of tack the firm is now trying to drum up support for a class action against Quindell among investors who have had their fingers burnt. Colin Gibson, Your Legal Friend’s chief operating officer, said: “We are very concerned that many shareholders and former shareholders have suffered significant investment losses, which may be directly attributable to statements by the company and its board that have proved to be extremely misleading.”

Your Legal Friend’s plea was doing the rounds on private investor message boards and fears of a looming legal threat coupled with uncertainty around the ongoing PwC review into Quindell condemned it to a 3.75p fall to 34.75p. The company declined to comment.

After six days of hellish losses for the Footsie, the Santa rally finally kicked yesterday. The bluechip index rose 149.11 points to 6331.83. Outsourcer Capita enjoyed the biggest recovery, climbing 63p to 1065p to cancel out last week’s losses. Bargain hunters also decided that after such steep declines oil companies are now worth a punt – Tullow Oil climbed 22.6p to 381.4p, Royal Dutch Shell pushed up 93.5p to 2036.5p, BG Group improved 32.1p to 827.2p and BP rose 10.7p  to 383.95p.

But the collapse of the Russian rouble meant it was not all ebullience in the City. Bottling company Coca Cola HBC, which draws around a quarter of its earnings from Russia, lost 11p to 1221p, while funds such as Baring Emerging Europe, off 18.75p at 455p, and Blackrock Emerging Europe, down 7p at  182p, suffered.

Spirits producer Distil shed 0.3p to 0.75p after revealing that half-year revenue has tumbled to £280,000, from £1.2m  a year ago.