Market Report: TClarke tumbles as traders take fright over £3m theft

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An admission from building services contractor TClarke that an employee had swiped almost £3 million from the company’s coffers sent investors running for cover today.

TClarke, which at present is working on the 100 Bishopsgate building in the Square Mile, revealed after the market shut yesterday that it had uncovered “financial irregularities” at its mechanical subsidiary DG Robson. 

“From initial investigations it would appear that funds in excess of £2.8 million have been misappropriated by an employee over a number of years,” the company said. The admission came less than two weeks after housebuilder Barratt Developments revealed that its London boss and another employee had been arrested on suspicion of bribery.

TClarke said any tweaks to the accounts for this year “are unlikely to have a material adverse effect on the group’s results”.

Investors did not fancy hanging around to find out and the shares dived 8.22p, or 13%, to 54.4p.

A steady start for the FTSE 100 today — with investors reassured by the news that Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is staying on until 2019 — was undone after Standard Chartered missed profit forecasts for the third quarter and shares dived 40.9p, or 5.74%, to 671p.

Its plunge dragged the FTSE 100 down 8.96 points to 6945.26.

Informa was among the winners, climbing 23p, or 3.4%, to 695.5p as Goldman Sachs became the latest investment bank to applaud its £1.2 billion takeover of US rival Penton. Goldman said the publishing and events business could spend another £1.5 billion on deals in the next three years.

Anglo American advanced 16.5p to 1147.5p, stretching its lead this year over its blue-chip rivals, after selling the Rustenburg platinum mine in South Africa, the scene of ugly strikes by workers in 2012. The buyer is Sibanye for around £90 million.

Ladbrokes and Coral sealed their £2.3 billion merger today after selling betting shops to appease the competition watchdog.

The new company, Ladbrokes Coral, started well, climbing 2.3p to 135.9p as Morgan Stanley praised the deal and urged clients to buy it over rival William Hill (off 0.9p to 294.9p) with higher growth from online.

A profit warning knocked Weir Group by 83p to 1617p as the valve-maker predicted its oil and gas arm would finish the year in the red.

Recent AIM float Franchise Brands, run by Domino’s Pizza chairman Stephen Hemsley, did its first deal, buying franchised dog-sitting service, Barking Mad, for £900,000 in shares. Investors lapped up the takeover, sending the stock up 6.9p to 59.4p.

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November 2, 2016 |
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