LONDON -- The FTSE 100
A number of oil- and gas-related shares, mainly small caps, fell today, even though shares in BP
Valiant Petroleum lost almost 2% today on news that the firm has appointed Michael Bonte-Friedheim as acting chief executive. The move leaves the previous boss, Peter Buchanan, free to work on a planned buyout proposal for the company.
Valiant had previously announced it was looking at various ways to release shareholder value, with news of a possible takeover emerging in early October. But with a takeover attempt coming from Buchanan himself, impartiality considerations may have led to this latest price fall.
The shares of Resolution slipped almost 4% after an ironic update told us that the costs associated with the insurance firm's cost-reduction program will be higher than expected. An additional 65 million pound charge is now in the cards, largely due to the complexities of merging IT systems.
On the upside, we were told of "strong operational progress" in the U.K., but international business "remains below par as a whole, with the continued uncertainty in Europe and other markets weighing on overall performance."
Man Group fell back today, dropping 5.4% to 74 pence as the hedge fund manager continues its struggles to get its automated "black box" trading strategies back into profitable territory. The group needs to exceed its high-water-mark targets in order to collect premium charges from clients.
There could still be one last megadividend from Man this year, forecast at 17% of the share price, but such a payment would exceed forecast earnings nearly threefold. Reality has set in for next year, with 7% currently forecast, though even that expected payment is likely to be barely covered by earnings.
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