Market Report: Troubled outlook for Kaz Minerals

 

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The Independent Online

Kazakhmys thought it had put its troubles behind it.

The Kazakh copper miner performed something of a miracle last year when it sold its loss-making mines to its biggest shareholder and former chairman, Vladimir Kim. The renamed listed company, Kaz Minerals, held on to the good assets and leapt by a fifth when news of the restructure was announced.

But yesterday Credit Suisse raised doubts. It said the current valuation “assumes almost perfect project delivery” and optimistic copper prices. Kaz Minerals’ investment plan also means debt is set to peak in 2017 at a perilous $3bn, double the company’s current value. It leaves little margin for error and Kaz tumbled 22.1p to 230.5p.

After falling in the previous session, British Gas owner Centrica climbed 10.8p to 271.8p after Morgan Stanley tipped new boss Iain Conn to lead a shake-up of the business. The FTSE 100 rose 40.78 points to 6,542.2, buoyed by a revival among retailers.

Replacement hip and medical dressings specialist Smith & Nephew slipped 21p to 1,159p after comments from its chief executive, Olivier Bohuon, appeared to play down the chances of a takeover by the US company Stryker.

Meanwhile Investec stoked takeover hopes for ITV as it the investment bank said the chances of a deal this year were “50/50”, helping the broadcaster climb 7.4p to 219.9p.

Oil remained near the front of traders’ minds as the price of Brent crude continued to fall. Tullow Oil slipped 18p to 368.9p as Jefferies twisted the knife, warning that Tullow’s move to onshore East African exploration was unlikely to be as profitable as its past West African ventures.

The low oil price is also claiming victims on AIM. Sound Oil, off 0.25p at 10.12p, pulled its takeover offer for Antrim Energy, down 0.12p at 2.25p, while Leyshon Energy jumped 1.12p to 3.75p as it announced plans to delist and hand $15.4m back to shareholders. Both companies blamed the collapse in oil prices for their decisions.

Quindell saw almost all of Monday’s gains evaporate as it fell 20.75p or 19 per cent to 86.25p. Private investors blamed profit taking after a run of gains.

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