July 10: Chairman leaves Regal

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July 10: Regal Petroleum is regaling us with more drama. The chairman and chief executive, Paul Morgan, is abandoning the company just five months after being appointed, “for personal reasons”. Has there been a row? Could it be anything to do with the takeover approach Regal said last week it had received? Morgan is chairman of a Canadian-listed group called Goldbelt Resources but the bid approach is rumoured to have come from a Ukrainian-based group, so who knows? Morgan was Regal’s chief executive before it was listed. He is very close to Frank Timis, the group’s founder and controlling shareholder, but Timis told the Telegraph this morning he didn’t know where the bid had come from. “It wasn’t me” he said. In the same interview he talks about how “if I wanted to buy a helicopter or a private jet tomorrow, I could afford it” and how, gulp, Aim is “over-regulated for junior companies”. Regal’s shares are off nearly 7 per cent.

Shares in Monstermob, the ringtones group whose backers include the Barclay brothers, have more than halved after the group warned that changes to subscription rules at China Mobile could hit its business hard in the second half of 2006. I make this the third profit warning in four months from Monstermob. The shares are off 85 per cent this year.

Standard Life, on the other hand, is trading nicely above its 230p issue price. It jumped more than 7 per cent at first and has since settled back to trade about 5 per cent up.

We also have results from Taylor Woodrow that came as we expected, and a strong trading update from Autonomy.

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