Market Report: Resolution's payout freeze chills shares

There is not much worse than being promised something before it is cruelly snatched away. That's the situation in which unimpressed investors in Resolution found themselves yesterday after the insurance conglomerate cancelled a £250m handout.

The buyout specialist – set up in 2008 by entrepreneur Clive Cowdery – blamed the economic climate and uncertainty around the sector for the decision, although this didn't placate the City. Instead, Resolution dropped as much as 10 per cent during trading, and while the stock managed to recover some of these losses, by the end of the day it was still one of the worst blue-chip fallers, having dived 12.4p to 215.5p.

With bosses at the company having put the payout on hold in March, Deutsche Bank's Oliver Steel said the decision to cancel it should not be a surprise. However, the analyst also pointed out Resolution's statement "suggests that there is no prospect of [a] cash return ever" while he added that "confidence in the company's strategic direction has probably ... taken another knock, coming on top of the group's apparently shifting view on M&A". Traders agreed – "I just think that people are getting very disillusioned with it," was the view of one.

The stock was not the only one being knocked by the news, however. Speculation has recently made a return suggesting Resolution could make another attempt to snap up Phoenix Group, but last night the mid-tier insurer finished 15p weaker at 490.5p amid concerns the likelihood of such a move was now even lower.

A rapid jump in Spanish bond yields put the Eurozone crisis back on the radar, with the FTSE 100 moving back from a two-and-a-half-month high by sinking 62.42 points to 5,651.77.

Barclays – which has dropped nearly 19 per cent since the Libor scandal hit its share price – was doing its best to bring Lloyds down as well. Analysts from the group's investment bank told investors to sell their shares in its rival, saying it had "the greatest amount of restructuring still to do, its capital position looks weak and its most profitable business [retail] is shrinking". However, although Lloyds did drop 0.3p to 29.94p, Barclays was worse off after falling 5p to 159.25p – elsewhere in the sector, Royal Bank of Scotland was driven back 7.6p to 204.7p.

Risers were rather hard to find, although Arm Holdings was one. The chip designer was helped by Apple's iPad 3 – which contains its technology – going on sale in China for the first time. There was also confidence over the forthcoming launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 in the wake of the computing giant's fourth-quarter results late on Thursday.

Weir Group was another moving higher. The pump maker ticked up 6p to 1,531p in the wake of results from fellow oil services companies Baker Hughes, Schlumberger and Gardner Denver across the Atlantic all beating Wall Street's forecasts.

With Dutch giant Heineken announcing a $4.1bn (£2.6bn) bid to take full control of Tiger beer maker Pacific Breweries, Liberum Capital's Pablo Zuanic suggested SABMiller "could also get involved" as the owner of Grolsch dipped 21p to 2,700p.

After speculation emerged late on Thursday claiming rumour mill favourite the London Stock Exchange could be a possible target for the Singapore Stock Exchange, the latter yesterday denied there had been talks between the two over a possible merger. Instead, the bourse said it was "open to collaborations and partnerships", as the LSE was knocked back 16p to 1,007p.

Undertaker Dignity rose 23.5p to 837p on optimism ahead of its update later in the month. While Investec's analysts admitted the period "is seasonally weaker", they added that "preliminary death rate data... suggests [the second-quarter] won't disappoint" and told investors to buy the stock as a result.

On AIM, Dawson International slumped by 0.52p to 0.62p after the cashmere maker – and former owner of the Pringle brand –admitted that its failure to strike a new pensions deal meant administration was now a possibility.

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
News
Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives his annual televised question-and-answer session
peopleBizarre TV claim
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
VIDEO
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'
tv
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Telesales & Sales Support Apprentice

£221.25 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a well established Inter...

Client Relationship Manager - SQL, Python

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Client Relationship Manager - SQL...

**Financial Services Tax**

£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Take your chance to join the...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit