Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taking Stock

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taking Stock

Article excerpt

BANKING AND FINANCE Morgan Stanley has raised Standard Life fromunderweight to overweight and raised its target from 324p to 382p. It says thelife assurer is best positioned to capitalise on private-equity opportunities.

KBC has an add rating on Segro after yesterday's strong half-year results. Butit has downgraded net asset value to reflect a 10% decline for yield shift overtwo years. Merrill Lynch remains concerned over slow industrial property.

BUILDING AND PROPERTY CONSUMER

Credit-card companies have been using "ingenious methods" to raise charges inthe past year, says Which? It says that since the Office of Fair Tradingordered a cut in default fees to [pounds sterling]12 last year, they have imposed 10 newcharges.

CONSUMER

Japan's retail sales fell more than twice as much as economists expected as atax increase began to bite. Sales declined 2.2% in July from a year earlier,the Trade Ministry said today, the biggest decline since June 2005. Consensusforecasts were for a 0.8% decrease.

ECONOMICS

BAE Systems has won a $12.5 million ([pounds sterling]6.7 million) contract to supply the USArmy with emergency escape windows for armoured vehicles.

The defence and aerospace group will supply 1000 window kits and 2000 sparewindow panels.

ENGINEERING

Panmure Gordon has raised Lidco from hold to buy and lifted its target from 12pto 15p. The broker says a return to sales growth and control of overheadssuggest the cardiovascular monitoring company's trading is back on track.

HEALTH INDUSTRIALS

Kurawood, a maker and distributor of hardened softwood, expects to raise [pounds sterling]5million from joining AIM via a placing of 17 million shares at 100p each, whichvalues it at [pounds sterling]17 million. The firm says 58.22% of its shares will stay inprivate hands.

INDUSTRIALS

PartyGaming chief executive Mitch Garber says the online gaming industry isripe for consolidation once retrospective legal action by US authorities hasbeen removed. PartyGaming and rival 888 Holdings initiated talks with theDepartment of Justice in June.

LEISURE

Executive chairman Tim Hearley has bought 50,000 shares, worth [pounds sterling]14,500, inReflec at 29p apiece. …

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