Frackers cooking with gas after Theresa May's cash handouts

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Households on shale gas hotbeds will not be the only ones to benefit from Theresa May’s plans to dole out cash, as shareholders of the London-listed fracking firms were also quids in on Monday.

Shares in AIM-listed IGas Energy and Egdon Resources leapt on reports that the new PM could dish out as much as £20,000 to households, which is likely to boost support among local residents.

Proposals previously included only reimbursing community trusts or local councils, with 10% of taxes from fracking earmarked for local authorities near wells which extract gas using the controversial process.

IGas, the UK’s best-known listed fracking hopeful whose shares have collapsed over the past two years, surged 4.05p, or 28%, to 18.30p in a boost for its loyal City backers, which include JO Hambro, Norges Bank, and Alliance Trust. 

Its biggest shareholder is Chinese energy giant Cnooc, which took over Canada’s Nexen in 2013, two years after IGas bought Nexen’s UK assets in return for shares in the AIM company.

Egdon, a partner of IGas in Lincolnshire, was 1.73p, or 16%, up at 12.6p. Its investors include Hargreave Hale, JPMorgan, and Hargreaves Lansdown.

On the wider market, the mood remained upbeat after Friday’s punchy US jobs figures. Banking shares added 19.06 points to the FTSE 100 at 6812.53.

Barclays put on a particularly strong show, climbing 5.7p to 157.7p as investment bank Exane BNP Paribas upgraded the high street lender to outperform. 

Knee and hip replacements specialist Smith & Nephew wobbled 5p lower at 1261p despite kicking off a $300 million share buyback following the $350 million sale of its Medtronic gynaecology business.

Shares in FTSE 250 aerospace engineer Meggitt, whose boss confirmed this year it would look at takeover offers, flew 25p, or 6%, higher to 439.6p as expectations of a possible bid rose. The surge came as US activist investor Elliott Capital Advisors, known for pushing for better takeover terms, revealed a 5.2% stake in Meggitt through so-called contract for difference derivatives.

Elsewhere on the mid-cap index, McCarthy & Stone fell 4.55p to 175.25p as UBS slapped a sell rating on the retirement homes builder.

Finally, Panmure Gordon shot up 11.9p to 57.4p on reports Mehmet Dalman’s WMG fund is working on a takeover bid for the under-pressure broker controlled by Qatar’s QInvest.

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August 8, 2016 |
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