Market Report: Vodafone has to wait for US payout

It has been almost 12 months since Vodafone learnt that, after six dry years, it would finally be getting a dividend from its US joint venture Verizon Wireless, and the market is impatient for more. Yesterday, however, investors were having to come to terms with the fact that they will have to wait a little bit longer to find out whether the next chunk of cash is on its way.

With Verizon Communications – Vodafone's partner in the business and the one in charge of the purse strings – announcing its results yesterday, hopes were high that this would be an opportunity for a new payout to be announced. What the City got instead was an admission from the US giant's finance chief, Fran Shammo, that the subject of a dividend was not even expected to be discussed at next week's board meeting.

That knocked Vodafone back as low as 181.35p during trading, and although the mobile phones giant did manage a partial recovery, by the time the bell rang its share price was still 2.15p lower at 183.05p.

Dealers weren't getting too worried, however, saying they were still confident over the chances of a new payout being approved. They also highlighted that Vodafone's share price has been on the rise recently, with the company – which today unveils its first-quarter results – having jumped more than 11 per cent in two months.

It was another strong day for the FTSE 100, which closed 28.42 points better off at 5,714.19 to set a new two-and-a-half month high. The US reporting season was helping the top-tier index advance, while poor economic data from the States and a tough Spanish bond auction were shrugged off.

Irish building materials group CRH was in the red following reports from India claiming it is interested in the cement business of Jaiprakash Associates, the construction company which developed the country's Formula One track.

The talk was that a deal could end up being worth up to $1.6bn (£1bn), although Goodbody's Robert Eason pointed out the group's recent sale of its stake in Portugal's Secil meant CRH "has plenty of financial headroom". Nonetheless, the stock was pushed back 9p to 1,204p, with CRH also hurt by Exane BNP Paribas cutting its rating to "neutral".

Elsewhere among the energy groups, Royal Dutch Shell crept down 2.5p to 2,298p. Dealers highlighted the continuing presence of vague speculation it may be interested in a move for Maurel et Prom, although the boss of the French oil company dismissed such rumours last month. Shell was also the subject of a Bloomberg report claiming it is in talks with Anadarko over potentially buying the US group's Mozambique gas assets.

On the 10th anniversary of its listing, luxury brand Burberry rose 57p to 1,289p, pushed up by French peer Hermes' results coming in ahead of expectations.

The London Stock Exchange enjoyed a late move as bid speculation made a return around the bourse, which closed 21p better off at 1,023p on the FTSE 250. Frequently the subject of takeover whispers, the latest rumours put forward the Singapore Stock Exchange as a possible suitor, with a potential price being suggested of 1,350p a pop, although traders treated the tale with a heavy dose of salt.

Having recommended the stock as a buy for nearly two years, Bank of America Merrill Lynch's analysts announced they were downgrading TalkTalk's rating to "neutral". They were quick to point out this "does not mean that we have 'lost faith' in the company", although this didn't stop the broadband provider retreating 7.1p to 182.7p.

Kurdistan oil explorers were in focus, with Afren spurting up 9.1p to 128p after a promising update from its Simrit well. Not that the pessimists at Liberum Capital were happy – citing the current complications involved with operating in the autonomous region of Iraq, they warned that "in the absence of exports options and with a limited domestic market, the value is unclear".

Meanwhile, on Aim, fellow Kurdistan-driller Gulf Keystone Petroleum climbed 8.75p to 221p as it announced a further resources upgrade to its Shaikan field.

After the bell, small-cap digital radio group Sepura (down 0.5p to 70.5p) announced that – citing "substantial institutional demand" – four major shareholders had decided to sell a total of nearly 11 million shares.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Christine McCleave: FP&A Analyst

£36,000 - £40,000: Christine McCleave: Are you looking for a new opportunity a...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn