A giant mining bid in Canada has lifted shares in London-listed Xstrata 7 per cent. The world’s largest zinc miner, Teck Cominco, is offering C$18bn for rival Inco. Xstrata shareholders hope it may now be able to buy Falconbridge, another Canadian miner which Xstrata is thought to covet and where it already has a 20 per cent stake. Inco had agreed to buy Falconbridge but the bid from Teck is conditional on that being dropped.
Regal Petroleum shares are off more than quarter as investors struggled to make sense of the latest twist in its legal struggle over its Ukrainian assets. The shares had initially fallen 57 per cent. On Friday the Ukrainian supreme court failed to uphold Regal’s claim to own certain gas producing assets. Regal plan to appeal again but if it loses once more, the assets will revert to state ownership and Regal will have lost the only profit-generating business. It will have to reinvent itself as a pure exploration company. The other development is the resignation of Martin Byrnes, a recently-appointed non-executive director.
British Sky Broadcasting shares have recovered most of their losses, having opened down 5 per cent. The market is digesting the impact of the huge sum BSkyB is paying for the rights to broadcast premiership football. That deal was announced after the market closed on Friday.
Some good news for once from SkyePharma, which has sealed a deal to distribute its key drug, an asthma treatment called Flutiform, in the US. The stock is up a little more than 4 per cent.
Royal Dutch Shell is continuing to replenish its reserves by investing more in Canadian oil sands. It is paying C$2.4bn for BlackRock Ventures. These investments are not as low-risk as Shell would have us believe and it must mean something if BP is avoiding oil sands.
We are planning more on the bitter row between the London Stock Exchange and Plus Markets over whose platform is better for trading small stocks. Plus claims that the LSE is introducing new rules that will make it harder for smaller companies to trade on a platform other than the LSE’s. To believe Plus, the LSE is abusing vestigial regulatory powers despite the fact that it is now a private sector company like any other. David Blackwell will explain all tomorrow morning.
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