Market Report: Arbuthnot banks rise on Secure Trust share sale

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Merchant bank Arbuthnot has loosened its grip on AIM-listed Secure Trust Bank, but its share sale came at a price for its challenger banking arm.

Shares in Secure Trust slumped 236.25p or 8% to 2563.75p as its parent company dumped shares worth £145 million, cutting its stake from 52% to 20% at a discounted 2500p.

The funds will be used by Arbuthnot, 62.5p up at 1550p, to grow its other businesses, including private and commercial bank Arbuthnot Latham & Co.

The share sale paves the way for a move up to the main market for Secure Trust, whose shares have soared almost 300% since Arbuthnot floated it on AIM in 2011.

Swiss-born Tory donor Sir Henry Angest — boss and majority shareholder of Arbuthnot — is to step down as chairman of Secure Trust to meet the main market’s stricter corporate governance guidelines. 

Investors remained on the sidelines waiting for clues from Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen on a potential rate hike next month for the US. It meant little activity on the market, with the FTSE 100 down just 2.23 points at 6263.42, with the price of Brent crude back below $50 a barrel.

Outsourcer Capita, 18p cheaper at 1080p, was among the fallers as BNP Exane Paribas slashed its rating to underperform, concerned by the possibility of weaker profits.

A bullish write-up from Berenberg gave a boost to software reseller Softcat by 5p to 334.5p. The German bank said the company, which floated in November, has “serious top-line potential” and predicts revenues will continue to soar.

Five-a-side football operator Goals Soccer Centres has bet that Mark Jones can lead its turnaround after hiring the former Grosvenor Casinos boss as its new chief executive. The market value of Goals — unchanged today at 102.5p — has halved in a year to £60 million with increasing competition pushing the company into the red for 2015.

Goals Soccer Centres.jpg

New signing: Goals Soccer Centres

Genel Energy, the Kurdish oil firm chaired by former BP boss Tony Hayward, dipped 6.35p to 127.9p after announcing it had received just shy of $5 million (£3.4 million) from the local government for oil exports in April from its Tawke field which it shares with Norwegian oil and gas explorer, DNO.

Genel’s stock surged yesterday when it revealed it had bagged $6 million thanks to exports from the Taq Taq field.

Elsewhere, Brave Bison Group, the digital video company formerly known as Rightster, improved 0.22p, or 4%, to 5.35p as former chief executive Patrick Walker quit as a non-executive director to focus on his new role at Facebook. Walker was replaced as boss in October by Ashley MacKenzie, the son of former Sun editor Kelvin.

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May 28, 2016 |
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