Market Report: Sherborne ups the ante on 3i Group

 

The City's best-known activist investor is keeping Simon Borrows' 3i Group guessing as it upped its stake again yesterday in the private-equity group.

It has been a cat and mouse game since Ed Bramson's Sherborne Investors first turned up on the share register at 3i in January. The latest stake building left analysts to liken the moves to "a game of poker where the ante continues to be upped".

Earlier this week Mr Burrows spent another wedge of cash taking his holdings in the group that owns retailers including Agent Provocateur and Hobbs to 0.84 per cent. Yesterday Sherborne went one better and now control 4.2 per cent of the group.

The shares fell 3.9p to 316.5p on the news.

Sherborne quietly built up its 3 per cent stake though the listed Sherborne 2 investment vehicle which came to light in January. Sherborne is well known for taking stakes in under-performing companies and shaking up management. At fund manager F&C Asset Management it led a boardroom coup.

Under Mr Borrows, 3i has begun a turnaround and its shares have soared more than 80 per cent since June 2012 following Mr Borrows' appointment in May last year.

Investec's Jamie Lowe said: "It is difficult to see what Sherborne can do in terms of unlocking value for shareholders that Mr Borrows has not already done."

Over on the benchmark index, financial-services group Old Mutual, which owns Skandia, was top of the tree after reporting an 18 per cent rise in annual profits in 2012, driven by a strong performance in Africa. The shares sailed up 8.9p to 211.4p.

Brent Cross and Bullring owner Hammerson built up a 12.1p gain to 506.5p after reporting solid results and a net asset value up 2.3 per cent to £5.42 a share.

Another riser was outsourcer Capita. It has bought debt-collection agency iQor and its shares rose 35p rise to 858.5p.

Safety inspector Intertek looks like it also might get a boost from the horse-meat scandal.

Intertek tests everything from electrical goods and aerospace parts to toys and T-shirts. They also do food – important at a time when a wave of new checks for the industry are emerging to uncover any equine traces.

Analysts at WH Ireland think its full-year results on Monday will be strong and the shares added 41p to 3,380p.

The benchmark index ended the morning session down as weak manufacturing data led investors to become cautious, but once the US stock market opened the FTSE 100 index lifted and finished up 17.79 points to 6,378.6.

But mediocre Chinese and European manufacturing data hit mining stocks. The biggest loser on the benchmark index, for the second day, was copper miner Kazakhmys. On Thursday it revealed a poor trading update and a write down of its stake in rival miner ENRC. Yesterday Société Générale downgraded the Kazakhstan-focused miner to a sell and the shares dug their way to the bottom of the index, down 29p to 590p.

On Thursday, chairman Vladimir Kim handed the reins to former-London Metal Exchange boss Simon Heale. But Mr Kimstill owns a 28 per cent stake in the group.

Analysts at JPMorgan Cazenove also took their red pen to Evraz, the Russian steel maker which is part-owned by Roman Abramovich. They rate it underweight and reduced their price target to 252p. The shares slipped 11.4p to 261.5p.

After the Royal Bank of Scotland's results on Thursday, it was Lloyds Banking Group yesterday. The £570m full-year net loss did not cheer the market and the shares banked a 1.22p decline to 53.25p.

Small-cap investment group Candover Investments revealed that net asset value per share fell to 608p for the year to the end of December. Shares also dropped on the news – off 35.62p to 390p.

Over on AIM, North Sea-focused oil group Ithaca Energy paid £203m for Valiant Petroleum. The deal will help Ithaca double its production forecast for the year. But a weak update from Valiant was followed by Ithaca's shares slipping 12.5p to 115.75p.

Archipelago Resources reported good drilling results in Mali and its shares were 3.5p better off at 55p.

But uranium explorer Forte Energy has failed to agree a deal and its shares dipped 0.42p to 1.35p.

Buy

Sports Direct International

Snap up shares in Sports Direct International, Oriel Securities insists. Oriel's analysts think the company's purchase of fashion chain Republic on Thursday increases the "focus on premium lifestyle" which bolsters the other chains it has bought, including Cruise and a stake in Flannels. Oriel rates the sports-to-fashion retailer a buy with a 510p price target for shares that are 418p.

Sell

Rightmove

Flog shares in homes website Rightmove, Peel Hunt advises. Peel Hunt's Malcolm Morgan thinks the websites' flat advertising numbers and a small reduction in market share is of "less importance to investors than the pricing power" He thinks it remains "fundamentally overvalued" and gives the shares, which are currently 1,761p, a target price 1,180p.

Hold

Laird

Hang on to shares in high-tech electronics company Laird, Investec suggests. Its results revealed that lower sales were offset with higher margins. But analysts at Investec say they struggle to see how "revenues will grow faster than the sector". They have put their share price target under review. The shares are currently 248.5p.

Suggested Topics
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Swimmer also charged with crossing double land lines and excessive speeding
News
people
News
i100
News
moneyForbes 400 list released
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
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

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style