Market Report: Tesco online move gloomy for Ocado

An Arctic blast hit Ocado's shares yesterday as the online grocery retailer felt more of the chill wind of competition from giant Tesco. The decision of Tesco to open a host of ominously called "dark stores" is to blame for Ocado's latest travails.

Dark stores are not open to the public but are instead geared towards fulfilling online orders only. The threat to the already under-pressure Ocado business model is obvious. Oriel Securities in a note concluded: "This is all bad news for Ocado. It is already struggling to keep up with the industry and further focus from the majors has to be bad news."

Dark store sites are to open in Crawley and Erith in the South East but it is believed Tesco is also set to expand in Manchester and Birmingham. Ocado's share price has struggled since it listed in 2011, and has lost almost half its value since late March. It yesterday fell 0.45p to 64.5p.

Sharing a holiday with hundreds of perfect strangers doesn't float my boat but it seems I am increasingly alone in this. Global cruise company Carnival Corporation, which owns P&O cruises, reported pre-tax profits of £819m for the three months to the end of August. This was broadly in line with the same quarter last year. The company, which owned the Costa Concordia ship that capsized in a fatal grounding earlier this year, reported an 8 per cent slide in revenues to £2.8bn but promised a recovery in cruise-ticket prices in the second quarter of 2013. In addition, management said it would increasingly target emerging-market economies to secure growth. This seemed enough to buoy the share price, which gained 76p to 2342p.

It was perhaps somewhere under the flashing lights and fireworks of the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend that a hushed conversation about the fate of emerging-markets bank Standard Chartered took place. But maybe the conversation wasn't quite hushed enough. It has emerged that Singapore's state-owned investment fund Temasek has started talking to buyers about selling its £6bn, 18 per cent stake in the FTSE 100 bank.

It could herald more than just a stake sale. Cormac Leech, banking analyst at Liberum Capital, reckons Standard Chartered, whose logoed skyscraper looms large over Singapore, may have a takeover on its own horizon. Leech flags up the fact that JP Morgan was floated as a likely bidder in the past, and adds: "It's likely the Chinese banks such as BoComm could find also significant revenue synergies [from a Standard Chartered acquisition]. StanChart is widely seen as a unique franchise given its pan Asia/Middle East/Africa footprint and comprehensive wholesale banking product offering."

Simon Willis at Daniel Stewart was also zipping through potential buyers. "A Chinese bank or the sovereign wealth fund; or a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund," he mused. "The former is the more likely... though Standard Chartered clearly has no need to sell out, and certainly not on the cheap."

Although the bank's shares last month lost a fifth of their value after regulators accused it of breaking US sanctions on Iran, a $340m (£210m) settlement swept the problem away and the shares rebounded. Yesterday, however, they were 23p cheaper at 1457.5p.

Falkland Oil & Gas put on some weight after it said it had started drilling the Scotia exploration well, east of Port Stanley. The firm reckons it will take two-and-a-half months to complete 5,000 metres of drilling.

Falkland Oil operates the well and has a 75 per cent stake in the project, but that will drop to 40 per cent after the firm agreed a farm-out deal with Noble Energy. Falkland shares rose 1.25p to 69p.

Back in the UK, Aim-listed mining business Hargreaves Services warned that Rotherham's Maltby Colliery is at risk of closure because of geological problem The shares fell 143p to 551p.

The best US consumer confidence figures since February helped the FTSE 100 index reverse early losses. The survey showed consumers were more optimistic about the availability of jobs and their outlook over the next six months. A measure of how consumers feel about the economy rose to 50.2 from 46.5 last month – and they are even more optimistic about the next six months.

As a result, share prices moved into positive territory mid-afternoon and carried on their rise, with the index gaining 20.97 points at 5859.70.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
Life and Style
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
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

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions