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Wednesday's most followed including Barclays, Helius Energy, Lloyds and Admiral


Banks and bonues were once again in focus in internet news world.

Barclays (LON:BARC) was piquing surfer interest as its chief Antony Jenkins tried to defend the huge bonuses paid out before the release of its 2013 report

It is set to reveal that it paid over £1 million to staff in 2013, while Lloyds (LON:LLOY), bailed out during the crisis, is also expected  soon to say its boss will receive an additional tranche of shares on top of a £1m salary and £1.7m bonus last year.

Online gaming group Playtech was one of the most active stocks as founder Teddy Sagi announced he is to sell a stake in the company.

He has reportedly increased the size of the sale, through his Brickington Trading Ltd to 45mln shares from 29.3mln - set to bank him a cool £326mln. 

Meanwhile, on Footsie, car insurer Admiral (LON:ADM) was the stand-out stock in terms of risers.

Its shares gained 6.34% after it posted results, which beat the company's own consensus estimates.

Pre-tax profit came in at £370mln (2012: £345mln), beating the consensus estimate of £363.9mln, in what the chief executive said was a "baked potato" of a year  - good, solid, but not flashy.

Melrose Industries, the investment firm, was the biggest loser after investors were not impressed with progress as it unveiled 2013 results.pre-tax profit came in at £370mln (2012: £345mln), beating the firm's own consensus estimate of £363.9mln.

In the small cap world, gaining traction was Helius Energy (LON:HEGY), which is confident of starting construction work on the Avonmouth biomass plant in the first half of this year. Shares were unchanged at 13.50p. 

Chairman John Seed said that despite uncertainties caused by the government’s reforms to the electricity market, the company has continued to advance towards finalising the financing for the large scale Avonmouth project.

Helius today reported an operating loss of £1.3mln in the twelve months to September 30, down from £11.6mln in the year before.

During the year, Helius completed the development of the 7.2 megawatt Rothes biomass plant, which is now exporting electricity to the grid.

Also, Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) rose almost 10% after it said it is adding to its potential value with the low-cost acquisition of a gas licence close to its Blythe Field in the North Sea.

It will pay an initial £468,000 for block 48/22a, which will be renamed Cronx.

An independent report estimates it contains a recoverable 2C resource of 17.6bn cubic feet of gas, the equivalent in oil of 3.4mln barrels.

Also reverbing around the City was news this lunchtime that the Bank of England has suspended a member of staff amid allegations that the central bank was involved in the rigging of the foreign exchange market.

In a statement, howver, the BoE said an internal review so far had found no evidence that its staff colluded in any such manipulation or shared confidential client information.

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