Market Report: Scandal-hit ENRC falls deeper into hole

If it were possible for scandal-hit Kazakh mining outfit ENRC to lose more credibility – yesterday it did as another rating agency downgraded the group's credit rating further into junk territory.The company is being investigated on corruption allegations by the Serious Fraud Office across its Kazakh and African operations.

Standard & Poor's has downgraded its credit amid fears the company may not be able to attract additional funds to finance its operations.

News of the SFO investigation last month was evidence to support those in the City who said the group should not have ever listed in London due to its continued corporate governance issues.

The latest blow comes as its founders are trying to raise cash to take the miner private. Alexander Machkevitch, Alijan Ibragimov and Patokh Chodiev have a 17 May put-up-or-shut-up deadline to make a bid. The consortium is holding talks with Russian lenders and is reported to be looking at a sell-off of assets to cut group debt if it is successful.

Many investors have already cut their losses and run – the shares have fallen more than 50 per cent since it listed 2007. The saga of the miner is being closely watched, especially by those who piled in at the bottom earlier last month – when shares were around 224p. Yesterday the shares dipped 0.4p to 274.4p.

Traders attributed the decline in the blue chip index to investors taking profit ahead of central bank meetings this week. The FTSE 100 lost 27.9 to 6430.12.

Despite the slip, the index reported its longest- ever period of monthly gains. It finished April up 0.3 per cent – its longest stretch of monthly gains since 1984, according to Bloomberg data.

Financials were in favour after Lloyds Banking Group's promising first-quarter update. Details of the new capital requirements in the UK are expected in the next month and Lloyds increased by 0.83p to 54.33p. Royal Bank of Scotland took top spot, up 12.3p to 306.3p.

There was more chat about fantasy M&A for telecoms group Vodafone yesterday when analysts at Citigroup speculated on Vodafone buying Liberty Global. The market was non-plussed and Vodafone hung up 0.65p to 196.2p.

The oil giant BP produced a forecast beating profit of £2.7bn in the first quarter and its shares jetted 9.65 to 466.4p. Fellow oil major Shell has beaten France's Total to a giant gas field project with Abu Dhabi National Oil. The deal was announced during a visit to the UK by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan. David Cameron said the Shell deal "highlights the UK's world class energy sector." Shell jetted 10p to 2,253p.

British Gas owner Centrica was out of favour with Credit Suisse which thinks "ongoing weak high street conditions and fiscal austerity" will mean further strain. Credit Suisse slashed its rating to underperform from neutral. Its concerns come ahead of Centrica's first-quarter update on 13 May. Credit Suisse is concerned "results in business energy and home services could be at risk", and that the stock looks expensive compared to peers, trading on 12.8 times 2014 earnings. Punters took note and it hissed down 8.6p to 371p.

Over on the mid cap index, the US fund Vanguard upped its stake in Peter Hambro's Petropavlovsk. The fund, founded by US star John Bogle, now has more than 8 per cent of the gold miner, which retreated 9p to 145p.

Engineer Invensys continued to be powered by takeover speculation. It was lifted for a second day – up 19.9p to 384.7p – following a buy note from Société Générale. JP Morgan took a look at Capital & Counties, the property company behind Earls Court and Covent Garden, and rated it overweight with a 365p price target for shares that built up a 3.3p gain to 308 p.

Sausage maker Cranswick gobbled up pig farmer East Anglian Pigs, which Numis analysts think will give it "control of the supply chain and should be a modest plus for sentiment". Cranswick put on 3p to 1,057p.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Test Analyst - UAT - Credit Risk

£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little