Low & Bonar makes specialist meshes and other coverings for use in civil engineering projects such as coastal defences, and also the artificial grass used in sports grounds. As such, it cannot expect to be immune to macro-economic trends. But, for now, overall demand is "robust" and the group is confident of delivering another year of "substantial" progress. The shares now sell on about eight times' earnings, which at least merits a hold, says the Times.
The Independent thinks that that once it starts to motor Nanoco will get gobbled up by an overseas predator at a tidy profit for investors. Its quantum dots have myriad potential applications, but the most commercially exciting now are in television backlighting - they offer better colour quality and brightness than white LEDs and use less power. They're also free from cadmium (a nasty pollutant). Buy, the newspaper says.
There is a sense that, after its reverse in Russia in the summer, BP is a company in managed decline. It has agreed a 30% purchase in an offshore oil and gas venture owned by Reliance Industries, of India, and a deal to move into deepwater Brazil, announced just before the Gulf spill, has since been signed off. There seem to be few large growth opportunities, though. Managed decline is not always a bad place to be for investors, if the company is concentrating on productive assets and throwing off cash for dividends, and at this level the shares have their attractions. But one wonders if, once the Gulf disaster is fully accounted for, BP's days as an independent may be limited, the Times says.
The rise of subsidence claims in the South East in particular is not good for householders but, as one analyst pointed out yesterday, if warm summers and wet winters are the pattern for the future and the trend continues, this would be good news for Innovation Group. The company has just signed a deal to handle all subsidence claims to Royal Bank of Scotland's insurance division, one of the market leaders. Innovation shares sell on a chunky 16 times this year's earnings but should have further to run long-term, the Times says.
Amec, the energy services company, yesterday showed that while the corporate sector as a whole might be raising its drawbridges amid the very real prospect of a double dip recession, there is still life out there for investors. It has been appointed by BP to deliver engineering and project management services for the main platform design for Clair Ridge, the second phase of the giant Clair oil field, west of Shetland. We said buy at 891.5p last August. The shares are down on that, but in an energy hungry world, this is about as close to a safe bet as you get in today's markets. Buy, says the Independent.
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Falling commodity prices and rising government bond yields resulted in a sell-off on Tuesday morning, as the recent volatility on equity markets continued, sending the FTSE 100 to a seven-week low. [11 Jun '13]
The largest investor in ENRC has fallen in behind a 3.3bn pound takeover bid for the beleaguered FTSE 100 miner, all but ensuring its success despite protests from independent directors. Kazakhmys, a rival resources group with operations in Kazakhstan, has signalled privately that it will vote its 26 per cent stake in favour of the controversial offer tabled by ENRC's three oligarch founders and the Kazakh government, even if the terms are not improved, The Sunday Times repor [26 May '13]
The Bank of Japan has held off on new monetary easing, according to the Financial Times, "judging that the huge stimulus unveiled in April will be enough to spur price gains in the world's third-largest economy". The central bank said that Japan has "started picked up". [22 May '13]
An improved outlook from the Bank of England (BoE) lifted UK markets into the blue by Wednesday lunchtime as investors shrugged off disappointing growth figures from the Eurozone and rising unemployment at home. [15 May '13]
Worse-than-expected growth figures from Eurozone powerhouses Germany and France dampened market sentiment in London on Wednesday morning, as stocks pulled back after hitting fresh multiyear highs the day before. [15 May '13]
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