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August 29, 2013 9:16 am
The talks, with partner Verizon, could result in a deal with a price tag of more than $100bn. Vodafone’s shares climbed 9.4 per cent to 207p and were at their highest level since 2002.
Serco, the outsourcing services provider, made a move of the same magnitude – only lower – coming under fresh pressure as investors had their first chance to react to news of a police investigation into one of its UK government contracts.
The scrutiny was focused on Serco’s deal to escort prisoners to court on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. The company admitted in a statement that data tracking the way in which it reported performance indicators on the contracts was misreported.
The news added to the list of problems the company has on its public-sector contracts in the UK, after allegations it, and peer G4S, overcharged on their deals to run electronic tags on offenders.
Serco’s shares fell 10 per cent to 545.3p, the biggest loss on the FTSE 100 by a clear margin. G4S was 2 per cent weaker at 246.2p.
Overall, the main London index was up 0.6 per cent at 6,469.70, a rise of 40 points.
WPP, the advertising agency, was higher after it lifted its outlook for the full year as it reported a forecast-beating increase in like-for-like sales in July. Its shares were up 3.6 per cent at £12.20.
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