The FTSE 100 enjoys a strong start to the new working week amid takeover talk and asset swaps in the pharmaceutical sector. The benchmark index is up 58 points to 6,683 with drug companies dominating the leaderboard. AstraZeneca (AZN) soars 7.6% to £40.70 on reports of takeover interest from Pfizer. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) rises 4.8% to £16.34 after selling its cancer drugs business for $16 billion to Novartis and in exchange paying $7.1 billion for the latter's vaccines division. Other drug stocks rising on the back of the bluechip gainers include long-rumoured takeover target Shire (SHP), up 4.2% to £30.48; Hikma (HIK), which jumps 4.6% to £15.65; and BTG (BTG), up 4.2% to 551.5p.


Telco networks business Colt Telecom (COLT) falls 11.3% to 128.3p on a profit warning. Ongoing margin pressures will hit 2014 consensus earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) by anything from 5% to 10%. The market was looking for €325 million. We take a closer look in this article at why the company has underperformed and why changes are necessary


Quindell (QPP:AIM) rival National Accident Helpline announces plans to join Aim in May. We take a closer look at the business model and potential tasty dividend yield in this article. Quindell itself takes a huge fall, down 45.5% to 21.25p, after an extremely negative research note was published. Quindell has issued this response.


Value greetings card seller Card Factory has announced its intention to float on the main market and raise £90 million to pay down debt and give private equity shareholder Charterhouse a partial exit. The company, which also sells small gifts and wrapping, grew EBITDA 9.2% to £80.4 million in the year to January, during which it sold over 285 million cards, and has generated like-for-like sales growth in every year since its formation in 1997.


News that India's Supreme Court has lifted a ban on iron ore mining in the western state of Goa sends bulk commodities specialist Vedanta (VED) up 2.3% to 940p. Yet the Indian iron ore producer can't get back to work until it gets a new permit from the government.


Defence technology firm QinetiQ (QQ.) falls 0.85% to 219.7p on plans to sell its US services business for $215 million and news of a £150 million buyback programme. The price tag is some way below the one first quoted for the division last autumn.


Iodine producer Iofina (IOF:AIM) falls 9.9% to 59.5p as its Atlantis water project in Montana – aimed at providing water to US shale operators – has been blocked by the authorities. Numis comments that this news 'has limited downside because the water project is non-core' adding it ascribes nothing to the mooted development in its valuation or forecast.


Global bulk logistics specialist Interbulk (INB) tumbles 7.7% to 4.5p after a pre-close trading statement reveals that increased activity in the group's liquid bulk division has been offset by an appreciating sterling and persistent weakness in the firm's largely European-focused dry bulk business.

Issue Date: 22 Apr 2014