Tesco (TSCO) ticks 1.55p higher to 244.35p after retaking sole ownership of 21 superstores held in a joint venture with British Land (BLND). Seeing Tesco receive £96 million from the property giant and relinquishing stakes in some shopping centres and retail parks, the move refocuses Britain's biggest retailer on its core UK business and provides greater insulation from rent hikes.
Management change often triggers a share price rise, but not in the case of bookmaker Ladbrokes (LAD). It falls 0.4% to 110.8p as the market doesn't seem overly-impressed with an internal promotion to the hot seat. Chief executive Richard Glynn is to be replaced by Ladbrokes Digital managing director Jim Mullen. He takes over on 1 April and will be paid a salary of £500,000. Ladbrokes says Mullen, who was formely chief operating officer of William Hill's (WMH) online operations, has a combination of industry experience and strong digital skills.
Oil explorer Tullow Oil (TLW) is up 3.6% to 320.7p as it secures an additional $450 million under its existing credit facilities – giving it much needed breathing space and also representing a vote of confidence in the business from its lenders. We'll have more on the story on the site later.
Sector peer Gulfsands Petroleum (GPX:AIM) is down 16.4% to 23p as it reveals it has working capital of just $3 million against work commitments of around $11 million and overheads of $8.5 million. A loan facility with strategic partner Arawak Energy is being called in and could result in a bill of $11 million on top of these other outgoings.
White collar recruiter Michael Page (MPI) gains 4.6% to 554p as investors bet a more dovish Federal Reserve will support demand for financial services jobs. Figures out earlier this month showed hiring in the City of London was 25% higher than last year ahead of the crucial March/April recruitment season.
Karelian Diamond Resources (KDR:AIM) soars 63.2% to 1.55p as the small cap miner reckons it has found a potential new source of diamonds in Finland. Karelian has a history of getting over-excited about exploration news, so don't get too carried away with today's announcement until there's hard evidence of diamond quality and quantity in the ground.
Housebuilder Berkeley Group (BKG) nudges 1.1% higher to £26.50 after the group's interim management statement highlighted good demand for new homes in London and the Southeast. Sector peer Persimmon (PSN) sheds 4.8% to £16.92.
Veterinary services provider CVS (CVSG:AIM) clips 3.25p higher to 468.25p as better-than-expected interim results and a confident outlook stoke earnings upgrades. Pre-tax profits grew 34% to £9.5 million in the half, as like-for-like sales skipped 10% higher.
High street lender TSB (TSB) gains 1.8% to 333.1p on agreeing a takeover from Spain’s Banco de Sabadell for 340p a share. The deal values the bank at £1.7 billion.
Clinical-phase drug company Motif Bio confirms it will join AIM on March 31. It will use the proceeds, which could be as high as £16 million, to buy antibiotic iclaprim to fight multi-drug resistant bacteria. Read our thoughts on the company here.
Chinese orange grower Asian Citrus (ACHL:AIM) sours another 4% to 5.88p, as it flags disappointing pricing for its summer orange crop, affected by typhoon damage and citrus canker infection.