Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taking Stock

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taking Stock

Article excerpt

Standard Chartered was among the best blue-chip performers amid speculation that Dubai-based Istithmarmay raise its stake in the banking group to 20%. Istithmar recently spent more than [pounds sterling]500 million on a near-3% stake in Standard.

Problems for housebuilder George Wimpey in the US have prompted Merrill Lynch to downgrade its shares from buy to neutral. It says the UK is performing well, the shares appear cheap and are still underpinned by takeover talk.

China's largest shoemaker, Aokang Group, has begun legal action to oppose a European Union decision to impose antidumping duties on imports, becoming the country's first shoemaker to do so.

BANKING AND FINANCE BUILDING AND PROPERTY CONSUMER Britain has cemented its reputation as the world's leading foreign exchange market with new figures showing the City's share of the global market rose 0.9% to 32.4%.

By contrast, the United States and Japan's global shares dropped to 18.2% and 7.6% respectively.

Chamberlain & Hill has been a weak market recently after a spate of downgrades. But broker Keppler Teather & Greenwood Merrion says it expects the engineering fabricator's above-average yield to provide some support for the shares.

AIM-listed Genetix has been forced to raise its agreed offer for Applied Imaging from $18.3 million ([pounds sterling]9.7 million) to $21.2 million after a counterbid from an unnamed suitor. The AI board has given its backing to the new terms.

It's all change at MFI after the disposal of the retailing arm of the business to private-equity group Merchant Equity Partners. Shareholders have now voted to change the name of its remaining joinery arm, Howden, to Galiform.

Swiss broker UBS has downgraded pubs chain Enterprise Inns from buy to neutral but retains its 1200p price target. It sees a more cautious outlook for tenanted pubs, with competition from managed pubs and supermarkets resulting in less scope for price rises. …

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