Utilities confirm status as a haven in time of trouble
Saturday 30 August 1997
At this time of year electricity and water shares can expect a joyous run as they move into their close season ahead of interim results which start to flow in October.
Many hold investment meetings before becoming subjected to the silence of the close season. Once they can no longer communicate with the market it is tempting for some wheeler-dealers to get stories running about share buy-backs and even takeover bids. The prospect of rich dividend payments is another positive influence.
Yesterday utilities also received the benefit of their solid, unexciting but high-yielding status. Just the investment for what some see as the beginning of unsettled times.
National Power, up 11p at 568p, led the charge. Severn Trent, 5p to 877.5p, and South West Water, 10p to 811.5p, were others higher. So was British Energy with a 5p gain to 171.5p.
Even BG, which could announce a dividend next month together with a pounds 1bn buy-back rose 4.5p to 270p, a peak.
Mobile telephone operators also enjoyed a run. Orange and Vodafone were lifted by the valuation put on German group, E-Plus, as a 30 per cent stake changed hands. Orange dialled a 15p gain to 223p and Vodafone, with 17 per cent of E-Plus, 7.5p to 317p.
Elsewhere the picture was much more subdued with Footsie off 27.9 points at 4,817.5. At one time it was down 60.2.
Again HSBC and Standard Chartered took much of the Pacific flak. Standard fell 47.5p to 826.5p; HSBC lost 40.5p to 1,920p. In two days Standard has fallen 150p; HSBC 191p. Others under the Tiger whip included Foreign & Colonial Pacific, the investment group, off 8p at 142.5p.
Grand Metropolitan and Guinness were depressed by the unsurprising tough stance the Eurocrats have adopted over their proposed pounds 24bn merger. The EU has provided the two drink giants with a list of its objections. Grandmet fell 10p to 566.5p and Guinness 12p to 546.5p. When optimism about the deal was riding high Grandmet reached 625.5p and Guinness 621p.
Schroders, the investment group reporting on Friday, rose 10p to 1,892.5p. Interim profits of around pounds 130m are expected against pounds 115.9m last time.
BTR, the struggling conglomerate, was another in upbeat mood. The arrival of former SmithKline Beecham chief executive Bob Bauman as chairman designate spurred the shares 9.5p to 218p. Mr Bauman's appointment is presumably in response to City pressure for a high-profile industrialist to move in.
Sheriff, a plant hire group, jumped 61p to 330p as much bigger rival Ashstead produced an agreed pounds 39m bid. Ashstead, looking for US acquisitions, was unchanged at 300.5p.
Marling, an industrial textile group, was another in takeover action. The shares rose 6p to 16p following an agreed pounds 31m offer from a Swedish group, Autoliv.
Hanover International, the hotel chain, fell 4.5p to 128p on the takeover that-never-was. The company said an approach had materialised which had not led to an offer and no talks were taking place. The potential bidder is thought to be Jarvis Hotels.
Still awaiting the signalled bid Boosey & Hawkes added 40p to 1,035p. TLG, the old Thorn Lighting, brightened 3p to 106.5p as shareholderWassall conglomerate was said to be preparing to strike.
On-Demand Information, an online publisher, fell 2p to 8p; last year the shares were 217.5p. It said it would not hit its target of breaking even next year and chairman founder and majority shareholder Graham Poulter is to quit. The company may seek a bid.
Selector, an Israeli company lost 10.5p to 49.5p. It was floated last year at 66p. A profit warning did the damage. Its FOB-stop shut-off valve has been delayed. The device is aimed at saving pub landlords 1.5 litres of wasted beer when kegs are changed.
Photobition, supplying photographic and printing services, hardened 25p to 662.5p, a peak. The shares have come up from 293.5p since November. The group has acquired graphics business Scanachrome for up to pounds 3m.
Chairman Eddie Marchbanks said current year sales were running 40 per cent higher and margins were "significantly better".
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 'Do not give them a reason': Baltimore man divides police and rioters in hope of avoiding violence
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
Bali Nine executions: Indonesia confirms killings of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will go ahead
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
iJobs Money & Business
£Basic (OTE) + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Stockbroker (qualified / p...
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...