Market Report: With a 50 per cent cut in bingo hall tax, the Chancellor has shown he is a fan

Commentators were touting Budget bingo ahead of George Osborne's speech yesterday and it turns out the Chancellor is a fan of the pastime himself.

Mr Osborne is halving the tax rate on bingo halls from 20 per cent to 10 per cent. On the back of the announcement, Mecca Bingo owner Rank revealed plans to open three halls, taking its UK total to 100. Rank added 9.8p to 154p.

The Budget's scrapping of compulsory annuities for pensioners dealt a hammer blow to providers yesterday. One of the worst hit was Partnership Assurance, off 176.2p at 143p, which wasn't helped by poor results earlier in the day.

Life insurers knocked 12.46 points off the FTSE 100 index, which closed down 32.15 points at 6,573.13. Financial adviser Hargreaves Lansdown, up 190p to 1,504p, was among the few winners.

The Government's crackdown on fixed-odds betting machines also hit bookies, with Ladbrokes off 18.6p at 140.4p and William Hill down 25.7p at 351.5p.

Applied Graphene Materials, up 60p at 460p, and Graphene Nanochem, up 3.12p to 100.5p, were boosted by Mr Osborne's name-checking of the next-generation material they both work with.

Away from the Budget, the microchip designer Imagination Technologies soared after UBS gave it a buy rating and the firm unveiled its new Wizard family of graphics chips. The Apple supplier jumped 16.5p to 180.7p.

Ophir Energy, down 43.7p to 251.7p, had bad news as the African-focused oil firm revealed it had plugged its Padouk Deep-1 well off the coast of Gabon after it came up dry.

The stabilising plan at Cape is going well. The company, which provides items such as insulation and linings for industrial plants and engineers, managed to reverse losses and make a profit of £200,000 last year. But investors were hoping for more and the company fell 15.25p to 305p.

Aim-listed Gulf Keystone Petroleum plans to raise up to $250m (£150m) through a debt offering to help it hit targets for oil production in Iraq. It follows news that reserves at the Shaikan site are lower than expected. Gulf, which hopes to move to the full list next week, was down 7.75p to 109.75p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...

Guru Careers: FX Trader / Risk Manager

Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...

Guru Careers: Investment Writer / Stock Picker

Competitive (Freelance) : Guru Careers: An Investment Writer / Stock Picker is...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue