Market Report: The Footsie had the weight of the world on its shoulders


The Russian oligarch Alexei Khotin has ended up with more control of the oil exploration firm Exillon Energy. The chairman, chief executive and three independent directors all quit on Friday after boss Mark Martin told the board “he was no longer able to exercise practical control over the company… without the support of the newly appointed directors who are nominees of the RusOil Group”.

Mr Khotin, the billionaire owner of RusOil, installed two directors on the board at the end of January, after building a 29.9 per cent stake in the firm last year.

Exillon yesterday confirmed RusOil’s deputy chief executive Pavel Chernienkoas as an executive director, cementing Mr Khotin’s control. Exillon drilled down 6.75p to 111p.

The Footsie had the weight of the world on its shoulders yesterday as fears over Chinese growth and tensions in Russia continued to depress the index, which closed down 36.78 points at 6,520.39.

Investors were also spooked by fears that the Big Six energy providers could be broken up, after reports that Ofgem is set to report them to the competition watchdog. British Gas-owner Centrica fell 6.4p to 331.5p, while SSE dropped 35p to 1,475p.

Al Noor Hospitals continued to soar yesterday, amid talk that good deals are on the way; the Dubai healthcare group leapt up 84p to 1,069p.

Gold producers were hit yesterday as the price fell. Rangold Resources sank 204p to 4,627p, and Fresnillo lost 33p to 852p. The exception was Centamin, up 5.2p at 57.7p, which beat production targets with its full-year numbers.

Cambridge-based disease modelling company Horizon Discovery has raised more than double what it hoped for from its initial public offering, according to Panmure Gordon. Horizon, which starts trading on Aim on Thursday, has secured £68.6m.

The oil and gas engineer Kentz was up 21.5p to 754.5p, and is set to beat forecasts for the year ahead.

The technical products maker Diploma was down 58.5p to 701.5p, after warning that exchange rates would keep its first half profits flat.