Market Report: Regulation fears cause PartyGaming to drop

Fears of Europe being hit by strict regulations on internet gambling caused one of the sector's biggest names, PartyGaming, to take a tumble last night.

The Gibraltar-based firm is set to merge with the Austrian company bwin in the first quarter of 2011 to create what would be the world's largest online-gambling company, but Davy has revealed that it is worried about the fact that key markets are expected to introduce regulations which could result in uncertainty around the stock.

"We have become increasingly concerned about the impact regulation of European markets will have on bwin-PartyGaming as they make the transition from unregulated to regulated markets," said the broker, which downgraded both companies to "underperform". "In theory, the regulation of European markets should be a good thing for online operators.... The problem arises when one or more products are prohibited under new regulation or when tax rates are prohibitively high."

Following the research, PartyGaming ended the session on 239p, a drop of 13.5p. It has endured a rough run recently, with the US midterm elections preying on the minds of investors. Democrat Harry Reid, a supporter of the gambling industry, has found himself in a battle to retain his US Senate seat for Nevada.

Overall, the FTSE 100 ended yesterday up, adding 62.81 points to finish on 5757.43, despite news from the construction sector that growth was at its lowest for eight months. For the second time in five weeks, traders using the London Stock Exchange's trading system Turquoise faced technical difficulties, after it suffered a "networking-related issue" that put it out of action for two hours. The LSE is about to move its main trading platform across to Turquoise's new technology.

There were many oil and gas companies amongst the risers on the top-tier index, with Tullow Oil, up 48p to 1,219p, leading the way. BP's much-anticipated figures saw its price put on 7.65p to 431.65p, and BGC Partners' David Buik said that yesterday suggested that "though still in remission, [BP] is on the road to recovery and in a couple of years' time should be back on the straight and narrow".

Benefiting from the strong performance in the sector was Weir Group, which makes pump and valves. On Monday it was among the stragglers despite announcing a 232 per cent increase in orders from its oil and gas business, but yesterday was a different story, and it rose 45p to 1,582p.

BHP Billiton was also up, enjoying an 42p increase to 2,277p, after rumours that its hostile takeover attempt of Potash would be blocked. Canada's Federal Government is deciding on whether to approve the bid, and industry minister, Tony Clement, yesterday said no decision had yet been made, with the deadline today. BG Group posted an impressive third-quarter update in which the natural-gas producer said that it had achieved a 12 per cent rise in net profit for the third quarter, above analysts' forecasts. It also increased its estimate of the amount of removable resources in its Brazilian fields, and thanks to the good news, it advanced 41.5p to 1,252p.

At the opposite end, Serco claimed last place for the second day in a row, down 21.5p to 565.5p, but it was pushed close by Lloyds Banking Group whose trading statement – although generally positive – did give investors reason to worry about impairments from bad loans;. It retreated 2.21p to 67.39p.

On the FTSE 250, even as the consultancy firm RPS Group shot up to the top of the mid-tier index, traders were dampening down hearsay that it was a possible takeover target, with one bemoaning the fact that there "seems to be a different bid rumour every day at the moment". Instead, he pointed towards RBS raising its advice on the firm to "buy" from "hold" as being behind its 15.6p climb to 221p.

A slightly mischievous note on Daily Mail & General Trust from Citi suggested that the media group – whose stable of publications include Metro as well as the newspaper that graces its title – should consider changing its name "to better reflect its faster-growing, higher margin B2B assets". Despite no signs of a change of moniker quite yet, the broker did move the company's target price up to 660p, and it advanced 15.5p to 560p.

Among the small caps, Tribal Group suffered a massive loss of 19.75p to 39p after it confirmed all discussions with possible bidders for the outsourcers had ended and that "each party has confirmed that it is no longer pursuing an offer for the company".

On the Aim, the announcement by Desire Petroleum that it was giving up on a sidetrack well on its Rachel prospect off the Falkland Islands did not put off the market, as the explorer – which last week was the subject of takeover speculation – rose 9.5p to 101.5p. Gulf Keystone progressed 24.5p to 191p yesterday after it became the subject of rather unclear gossip over a possible bid, although this is by no means the first time speculation has surrounded the oil explorer.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
A daily miscellany of general election facts, figures, trivia and traditions
voicesThere's still time for someone to do something to make us care
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, goes back to his family's Sicilian roots in the first 'Godfather' film
Kim Kardashian speaks on the Today show about her step-father's transition
Wenger and Mourinho square-up to each other earlier this season
sportAll the action from today's Premier League, including Everton vs Man Utd and Chelsea vs Arsenal
Tepper had a stunningly successful career as a songwriter
Arts and Entertainment
Len Blavatnik
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

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions