April 26: Spread betting takeovers

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April 26: Flush with the success of pulling off a big deal last week for ICAP, Michael Spencer is trying another deal. His City Index spread betting business is considering making another takeover approach to rival IFX after having had a first approach rejected a month ago. Shares in IFX, which recently said Ed Warner was stepping down as its chief executive, are up 3 per cent.

Elsewhere in the markets, FTSE 250 index broke through the 10,000 mark today for the first time. The mid-caps have outperformed the FTSE 100 for some time thanks in part to benefiting from a greater amount of takeover activity.

We’re planning a package on mining, prompted in part by the news that Tony Trahar plans to step down a year early as chief executive of Anglo American. But this comes at the same time as BHP Billiton says it is struggling to find enough workers and mine equipment and as Highland Gold, part-owned by Fleming Family & Partners and Peter Munk’s Barrick Gold, managed to lose money last year. As impressive as a gold miner losing money in the current commodities boom is today’s profit warning from Wogen, a metals trader. It has been punished with a 25 per cent share price fall.

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