Market Report: Royal Mail posted gains after analysts argued its shares are still cheap

Berenberg weighed in on the row over Royal Mail's privatisation, initiating coverage with the declaration that "shares were sold on the cheap last year and remain very cheap".

The German bank rated the postie a buy and set a target price of 700p – over double the 330p float price – reigniting the debate over whether the taxpayer was short-changed. Key to its analyst Matthew O'Keeffe's thesis is Royal Mail's "surplus" property portfolio, which could bring in £1bn if sold off. But Mr O'Keeffe also argues that increased operational and financial efficiency at Royal Mail, up 6p at 566p, would benefit the taxpayer.

The FTSE 100 surged to a fresh 14-year high yesterday, beating February's record as it closed 21.33 points higher at 6,873.08.

The rally was helped by a buoyant housebuilding sector. Taylor Wimpey added 8.1p to 114.4p after a strong update and a positive sector note from Morgan Stanley helped Barratt add 12p to 386.3p and Persimmon jump 44p to 1,404p.

Elsewhere, the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power lost 2.33p to 56.7p on news that chief executive Patrick Kennedy is stepping down after almost a decade.

Tom Robinson at Deutsche Bank was banging the drum for Kurdish oil. Squabbles between local legislators and the Iraqi government have made getting black gold out of the region difficult but Mr Robinson believes Kurdistan is "poised to become a major exporter". His top picks are Genel Energy, off 10.5p to 931.5p, and Gulf Keystone Petroleum, 2.25p better at 98.25p.

On AIM, the insurance outsourcer Quindell saw a brief afternoon bounce thanks to an unlikely rumour that Aviva is planning an 80p-a-share bid. Quindell ended the day down 0.75p at 20p.

The independent oil and gas operator Egdon Resources put on 2p to 23.75p after announcing plans to snap up onshore UK shale gas assets from Alkane Energy, 2.25p lighter at 41.5p.

African-focused oil and gas operator Aminex, which last week offloaded its US assets, climbed 0.14p to 0.94p as its chief executive Jay Bhattacherjee bought up 2.4 million shares.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
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
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

Sheridan Maine: Finance Analyst

Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat