Market Report: Ron Baron has faith in online retailer AO World


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The Independent Online

The online fridges-to-washing machines retailer AO World was dismissed by many in the City but the New York billionaire Ron Baron has faith in the business. He bought into the Bolton-based retailer through his investment company Baron Capital Management when AO World floated in February. Despite the shares losing 41.8 per cent since the first day’s trading, Baron Capital has been building its stake, crossing the 5 per cent threshold yesterday.

Baron joins hedge fund supremo Crispin Odey in backing the business. Odey Asset Management owns 3.8 per cent of AO World, which lost 8p to 220p.

A buoyant mining sector helped the FTSE 100 and it closed up 37.18 at 6,851.75. JPMorgan turned bullish on miners, with Rio Tinto reaping the most benefits, up 151.5p at 3,340p.

Broadcasters fell as the possibility of a merged Sky Europe spooked investors. BSkyB shed 21.5p to 868.5p, ITV was off 2.2p at 186.8p and BT Group was down 8.2p at 374.3p.

On the FTSE 250, engineer WS Atkins added 80p to 1,347p thanks to an upgrade from Numis, while SuperGroup continued to fall, 60p lower at 1,065p. The Superdry owner has now tumbled 38.9 per cent since the start of April.

Small-cap software maker Anite leapt 8.5p to 91.5p after a positive update. The company, which serves the telecoms, leisure and travel sectors, said the roll-out of 4G has boosted business.

Blur Group crashed 123p to 155p after downgrading revenues for the second time in less than a month and warning it may need more financing. The Aim-listed company lets businesses buy legal, marketing and other services online, and has decided to take a “more conservative view” on when to record some revenues.

Market research specialist BrainJuicer also lost 103p to 414p after warning costs are set to rise.

Bosses at Graphene Nanochem said its fall in price has left them baffled. But the company, which is hoping to put graphene to use in the oil and gas sector, lost 4.25p to 71.25p.

Bahamas Petroleum, which recently welcomed the former BP executive Bill Schrader to its board, rose 0.465p to 3.7p after narrowing losses to $5.2m in 2013, down from $6.3m.