Market Report: Aberdeen Asset Management shoots up as City digests takeover rumours

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Takeover talk whisked shares in beaten-up Aberdeen Asset Management higher as speculation mounted as to whether it would succumb to the emerging markets meltdown.

Reports suggested Martin Gilbert’s emerging markets-focused asset management group was sounding out buyers, with Credit Suisse and private equity firms such as KKR and Blackstone touted as possible suitors. 

Even after a denial from a company spokesman, shares climbed 13.8p or 4% to 365.2p.

RBC analyst Peter Lenardos rebuffed the rumours, insisting that chief executives regularly meet with industry participants to chew the fat and discuss ways to get the share price up.

“We would be surprised if Aberdeen sold from a position of weakness, which we believe it is in,” Lenardos said.

The slowdown in emerging markets this year has taken its toll on Aberdeen’s stock — it almost halved in five months, having touched 509p in April — as it struggles to stem the flood of money leaving its funds.

Aberdeen topped the blue-chip leaderboard at the start of a big week for banks and oil firms, with industry heavyweights preparing to report third-quarter results.

The FTSE 100 drifted 20.39 points lower to 6423.69, with only a handful of companies rising 1% or more.

AstraZeneca edged up 13p to 4082.5p after the US watchdog recommended approval of its gout drug, lesinurad, ahead of its final decision.

It comes 10 days after it revealed the Food & Drug Administration requested more information on its diabetes treatment.

Investors banked profits in the broadcasters after Friday’s rally, which was inspired by the potential takeover of Cable & Wireless by Liberty Global. ITV dipped 5.2p to 251.8p, and Sky reversed 19.7p to 1100.3p.

TalkTalk, 15.8p worse off at 241p, found itself at the foot of the mid-cap index for a second straight session as the huge hack that exposed the bank details of millions of customers continued to cast a shadow over the phone and broadband group.

The departure of Cliff Baty, chief financial officer at Sportech, for Manchester United where he is due to become chief bean counter, left the football pools operator unscathed as it held firm at 60.25p.

Europa Oil & Gas gushed 0.38p or 11% higher to 3.76p after an independent assessment slapped a $7 billion (£4.6 billion) valuation on its assets off the coast of Ireland.

The AIM-listed company’s job now is to find a partner to fund the drilling amid a dry period for oil project financing.

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October 26, 2015 |
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