London shares begin the week in decline with investors worried about the next euro funding step after the collapse in Greek debt talks hit talks. In early trade Monday the FTSE 100 on track for its lowest finish in three months, sliding 40 points, or 0.5%, to 6,746. Midcaps take an even bigger bashing, the FTSE 250 index plunging more than 100 points, or 0.7%, to 17,822.
Mining group Vedanta's (VED) plans to merge with Cairn India sparks the former's shares into life, rallying 2.4% to 608.5p. Minority shareholders in Cairn India will get one Vedanta share and one redeemable preference share for each Cairn India share held.
Travel agent Thomas Cook (TCG), off a fraction to 138.8p, has unveiled a joint venture with Fosun International to develop domestic, inbound and outbound tourism activities for the Chinese market under Thomas Cook brands.
Among the bigger movers, boiler technology minnow Sabien Technology (SNT:AIM) crashes again after another profit warning. Typically unpredictable orders have shifted to the right which will mean lower revenues and a plunge to a £0.6 million loss for the year to end June.
Central Rand Gold (CRND:AIM) slumps 14% to 12.63p as its planned sale of its Netherlands Antilles unit is pushed back.
Better news for small bars operator Eclectic Bar (BAR:AIM), which jumps 171% to 56.75p. The company is implementing a cost-reduction programme due to competitive pressures in a number of its locations and appoints serial leisure entrepreneur Luke Johnson as executive chairman.
Eclectic Bar (BAR:AIM) soars 31% to 63.5p on news leisure entrepreneur Luke Johnson has been named chairman of the student bar operator. Johnson, who is also chairman of Patisserie Valerie (CAKE:AIM), intends to buy three million shares in the company. The group has also published a trading statement in which it warns trading in the last few months has seen 'competitive pressures' which are likely to impact on its full year results. Read Shares exclusive story here.
Northern Bear (NTBR:AIM), up 14% to 57p, says trading for full year 2015 was ahead of management expectations, and that is has a strong current order book with good visibility. It expects to hike its dividend from last year's 0.75p payout.
Elsewhere, wine specialist Majestic Wine (MJW:AIM), a running Shares Play of the Week, sheds 12.75p at 427.25p on poor full-year results and news short-term profits will be suppressed by £3 million of investment to reinvigorate the business. New CEO Rowan Gormley, who joined with the £70 million acquisition (10 Apr) of Naked Wines, will provide his full strategic review in November, though he is confident 'we can rebuild momentum in this excellent business.'
Managed communications and IT buy and build Redcentric (RCN:AIM) enjoys a much deserved 5% share price hike to 165.75p on Monday, as it unveils full year results of a land mark year. New funding power puts further acquisitions very much on the cards for this running Shares Play of the Week, although investors may well begin to see this as a takeover target itself, within this fast consolidating market.
Small cap asset manager River & Mercantile (RIV) lands a mandate to manage a £700 million chunk of Royal Mail's (RMG) pension scheme. The deal will see it manage options for the FTSE 100 firm as part of a 'structured equities' strategy. Shares gain 4% to 219p.
Aerospace and defence specialist Rolls-Royce (RR.) edges 0.6% lower to 964p as the market's downward momentum offsets news that the £18.1 billion cap has been awarded services contracts worth up to $224 million to support US military branches and global air forces.
Pallet manufacturer RM2 (RM2:AIM) falls 3.6% to 66.5p after a year of 'very limited production', driven by its move to a new factory, results in a pre-tax loss of $47 million in 2014. The group has announced its second major customer win this year and says the deployment of pallets is expected to expand significantly in 2015 and 2016.