Europe’s largest bank by assets HSBC (HSBA) rises 0.7% to 664.5p on reports that it may float its UK retail and commercial business. The move could see 30% of the business sold to investors ahead of new regulation that seeks to separate retail business from riskier investment banking operations.
The market gives a big thumbs up as oil services firm Kentz (KENZ) announces plans to buy US rival Valerus Field Solutions for $435 million in cash, sending its share price up 9.2% to 635.5p. We look at the news in more detail here.
Oil and gas firm and unmanned buoy technology play Enegi Oil (ENEG:AIM) gains 4.3% to 7.8p on news that oil services giant Wood (WG.) may increase its participation in the group's marginal field initiative. Wood is already a strategic partner and has a 90 day period in which to negotiate a broader role. House analyst Craig Howie at Shore Capital comments: 'With the possibility of direct investment or participation by a major oil services company, this is highly encouraging news.'
Satellites operator Inmarsat (ISAT) rises 4.3% to 720.5p after yesterday launching its Proton rocket from Kazakhstan. This signals the start of its long-awaited Global Xpress communications system roll-ut.
Telecoms tester Anite (AIE) jumps 5.2% to 91.25p as investors find evidence of improved trading into the second half after workload delays hit first six months. Analysts remain upbeat over the long-term prospects driven by increasing consumer and business mobile communications, although lumpy contract patterns are likely to remain for the foreseeable future.
Research kit manufacturer Oxford Instruments (OXIG) has indicated a willingness to raise its takeover offer for high-specification science cameras and microscopes designer Andor Technology (AND:AIM) from 500p a share to 525p. That sweetener sees Andor nudge ahead 7.25p to 505p, which may imply fast fading hopes of a rival offer emerging. Andor is mulling the new terms over.
Kazakhmys (KAZ) nudges ahead 0.9% to 219.7p on a mixed bag of news. It has proposed to sell its 50% stake in a power station for $1.3 billion. That is overshadowed by $350 million of added costs relating to its Bozshakol copper mine development, previously budgeted at $1.9 billion.
Patent translation specialist RWS (RWS) impresses the market with its full-year results, sending its share price up 4.5% to 810p. Adjusted pre-tax profit increases by 22.1% to £21 million. The dividend is up 15.7% and it reports £18.2 million net cash. We recently explained why buying the remaining two thirds of market comparison site Inovia in September is strategically important to RWS. Read that article here and our 'griller' interview with RWS here.
A long-time small cap favourite at Shares, positive results from Driver DRV:AIM) send the construction dispute resolution expert up 8.2% to 125p. The dividend is up 50%, it has moved from £964,000 net debt to £1,073,000 net cash in the year.
Trinidad oil explorer Trinity Exploration (TRIN:AIM) gains 16.2% to 145.2p on news of an oil discovery on its Galeota block – with the find estimated to contain up to 115 million barrels of oil in place.
Salamander Energy (SMDR) gushes up 2.8% to 101.75p on encouraging initial results from its West Kerendan-1 well, Indonesia while Tullow Oil (TLW) slumps 2.8% to 874.5p on news of a dry hole in Ethiopia.
Chinese branded sportswear maker Naibu Global (NBU:AIM) nudges 1p higher to 79p on a reassuring trading update. The £43 million cap is on course to meet market expectations this year and reports 7.5% year-on-year growth in 2014 spring and summer orders. Shares has previously outlined the sports shoes-to-clothing company's growth prospects in more detail.
Property investor Tritax Big Box REIT (BBOX) rises 1.1% to 101.13p on its first day of dealings on London’s Specialist Fund Market. It raised £200 million last week (4 Dec) to buy large office buildings covering more than 500,000 square foot.