FTSE soft in midday trade, RSM Tenon shares dive

MIDDAY MARKET REPORT: The FTSE remained weaker heading towards midday, following muted sessions in the US and Asia, with RSM Tenon Group shares continuing to take a robust drubbing following an update on the possibility of lacklustre Baker Tilly offer.

RSM Tenon Group (TNO) said it was likely that any offer by Baker Tilly would likely attribute minimal value to the share capital of the company because of its high level of indebtedness. Its shares plunged 56.41% to 0.85p on the news, effectively wiping out any bid premium that speculative investors had wished for.

Heading to midday, the FTSE All Share was 3.18 points, or 0.09%, lower at 3440.40, while the FTSE 100 shed 9.92 points, or 0.15%, to 6473.42. The FTSE 250 was up 28.15 points, or 0.19%, to 14721.1. The FTSE SmallCap was up 13.12 points, or 0.32%, at 4098.51.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 continued to be led lower by a string of financial sector stocks. Experian (EXPN) led the pack, down 1.75% to 1182p. It was followed by Standard Life (SL.), down 1.33% to 344.85p, and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), down 1.2% to 336.5p.

The top ten fallers were filled out by Wolseley (WOS), Arm Holdings (ARM), Aviva (AV.), Reckitt Benckiser (RB.), Wood Group (WG.), International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) and BAE Systems (BA.). All were down between 0.96% and 1.19%.

US & ASIA

In the US overnight, the Dow gain shed 226 points to 15,112, while the Nasdaq fell 63 points to 3,606, and the S&P500 lost 24 points to 1,661.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed down 103 points at 13,650, while the Hang Seng finished down 21 points at 22,518.

WTI crude oil was around the $107.4 level for a barrel, while Brent crude was around $109.6.

Gold was trading around $1,362.

LONDON MARKETS

Bellzone Mining (BZM), up 11.54% to 4.35p, has confirmed a significant increase in resources at its flagship Kalia mine project in Guinea. Bellzone reports an increase of more than 650% in the 'indicated' high grade oxide and supergene BIF mineral resource tonnage and a significant grade increase within the magnetite BIF mineralisation from 25.9% Fe to 29.3% Fe following geological work undertaken at the mine.

1pm Plc (OPM) said the first two months of its 2013/14 financial year had been very positive. CEO Maria Hampton said new business written since the year-end has contributed to an increase in 1pm's lease portfolio of more than 5%, which was £15.6 million at July 31, from £14.8 million on May 31. Its shares gained 1.75% to 0.29p.

Nandan Cleantec (NAND), a scaled vertically integrated bio fuel producer, has received certification from the Environmental Protection Agency in the US. Its shares rose 1.69% to 30p.

RPS Group (RPS), down 0.14% to 252.45p, has acquired HMA Land Services Limited, a consultancy specialising in providing services for linear infrastructure projects, for a maximum consideration of about $18.7 million, including the repayment of about $6.4 million of debt.

Wilmington Group (WIL), up 0.92% to 192.5p, has acquired the trading assets and certain liabilities of Compliance Week from Haymarket Media Group for a net consideration of $11.215 million in cash.

Surgical Innovations Group (SUN), up 10.92% to 5.13p, said it had made a strong first half, to June 30, and that it continues to trade in line with market expectations for the full year.

Warner Estates (WNER) said talks are continuing with lender and other key stakeholders, but that there is little or no value to existing shareholders whatever the outcome of these negotiations. The options being discussed with lenders would not realise enough value to repay the outstanding debt in full, a position that can result in an insolvency process. Its shares dumped 13.51% to 0.8p.

Severfield-Rowen (SFR) said its overall trading performance for the year to date is in line with management expectations, although short-term challenges remain. "While progress is encouraging, the order book level of £34.8m is not yet sufficient to maintain production at a break-even level,” it said. Its shares gained 0.9% to 56p.

The Local Shopping REIT (LSR), up 1.5% to 25.63%, reports a robust performance from its portfolio despite challenging conditions in the retail market. It said that 39 vacant units had been let since the end of March at a total rent of £313,850 per annum.

Anite (AIE) is maintaining its full year forecasts despite a very slow first quarter. Its shares fell 10.1% to 113p.

Accsys Technologies (AXS) has terminated its Accoya licence agreement with Diamond Wood China. Its shares rose 2.75% to 0.14p.

Development Securities (DSC), up 1.99% to 198.88p, has signed a £12.1m agreement to terminate its development management contract at Paddington Central. The agreement - signed with Aviva Investors and British Land -releases a compensation payment of £7.1m.

AcenciA Debt Strategies’ (ACD) net asset value per share increased by 5.3% to 107.03p in the six months to the end of June, taking account of dividends paid. Its shares rose 0.77% to 98.25p.

WS Atkins (ATK) has agreed to dispose of the ongoing operations of Peter Brown, its US construction management at risk business, to Moss & Associates. Its shares fell 0.77% to 1162p.

Essar Energy (ESSR), the India-focused integrated energy company, says all operating power plant and the Vadinar and Stanlow refineries have performed in line with expectations since the end of June. Its shares rose 0.26% to 135.65p.

Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH), up 0.75% to 674.5p, has completed the sale of the services segment, announced on 10 July.

Avon Rubber (AVON) reports good progress since the start of April and expects full year results to be in line with market expectations. Its shares sagged 3.12% to 473.75p.

Beowulf Mining (BEM), up 5.43% to 7.38p, reports encouraging assay results from the fist six drillholes at Kallak South. It says the Kallak North drill campaign and test mining programme is progressing as planned.

Asia Ceramics Holdings (ACHP) plunged into the red in the six months to the end of June due to lower sales and gross margins. The group posts a loss of £49,000 compared with a profit of £209,000 a year ago. Its shares fell 1.77% to 55.5p.

Espírito Santo Financial Group (EOS) posts a first half loss attributable to equity holders of €63.8m compared with a profit of €25.0m last time, on a like-for-like basis.

BHP Billiton (BLT) has confirmed it could face legal action in the US over a breach of anti-corruption laws. The US Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice says the issues relate "primarily to matters in connection with previously terminated exploration and development efforts" and hospitality provided as part of the company's sponsorship of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Its shares gained 0.51% to 1985.5p.

International media group Future's Australian (FUTR) business has acquired two technology brands - APC and TechLife - from Bauer Media Group. Future’s shares fell 0.92% to 12.88p.