FTSE 250 movers: Ferrexpo, Polymetal stumble, while Rank hits jackpot
London's FTSE 250 index finished down 0.7% at 20,667.45 on Friday, led by a group of stocks based in or focused on Eastern Europe.
Ukraine-based Ferrexpo's shares lost ground despite the commodity trading and mining firm having extended a credit facility a day earlier. Deutsche Bank analysts said it was a "positive development for the company and largely removes any refinancing risks for 2019".
The dip in the firm's shares was more likely related to its Ukrainian assets, which include iron mines and pellet processing facilities, which could well be feeling the heat from rising economic tensions between the US and neighbouring Russia.
The Trump administration said on Wednesday that it intends to punish Russia further for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal with a chemical weapon in Salisbury earlier this year. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reportedly likened the evolving situation between the two nations as one of economic war.
In a similar vein, Polymetal International has likely dipped due to the heightening tensions, as the firm possesses a portfolio of gold and silver mines in Russia, as well as neighbours Kazakhstan and Armenia, and is listed on the Moscow Exchange.
Also worth noting is that Bloomberg has reported that a top economic aide to President Putin has proposed increasing taxes on mining companies that could potentially gross $7.5bn a year.
Bank of Georgia and TBC Group, Georgia’s largest banking group was the top faller in afternoon trading ahead of the Tbilisi-headquartered firm's scheduled first half results release next Wednesday.
Amid the drama of the run on Turkey's lira, travel stocks were moving in different directions. Travel agent Thomas Cook and online rival On The Beach were both in the red.
Conversely, gambling operator Rank Group was one of the afternoon's top movers ahead of its year end results release next Thursday, with investors potentially anticipating that the firm's May acquisition of QSB Gaming Limited, which owns Spanish language digital bingo business YoBingo.es, may have offset declines in UK business.
The acquisition followed Rank's April downgrade of its full-year operating profit guidance to between £76m and £78m, when the company stated that the impact of UK decline would continue to be felt into the new financial year.
BTG bounced back in afternoon trading after falling on Thursday following the rejection of its Elevair emphysema treatment by the US food and drug administration. An advisory panel had recommended rejecting the treatment in June and so the blow was not completely unexpected.
Hill & Smith fell after being cut to ‘hold’ from 'buy' by Berenberg, who cited weak interim results from Wednesday and argued that the firm will need to put in a strong performance in the second half of the year in order to achieve its positive long-term outlook.
FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,695.34 -0.53%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Alfa Financial Software Holdings (ALFA) 170.80p 4.27%
Rank Group (RNK) 186.20p 4.14%
Charter Court Financial Services Group (CCFS) 348.45p 3.46%
Games Workshop Group (GAW) 3,285.00p 2.66%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,830.00p 2.23%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 1,264.00p 2.18%
Just Group (JUST) 101.40p 1.86%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,595.00p 1.76%
BTG (BTG) 521.50p 1.66%
Keller Group (KLR) 1,038.00p 1.57%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 1,737.80p -4.00%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,649.13p -3.78%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 170.55p -3.78%
On The Beach Group (OTB) 419.00p -3.46%
Hill & Smith Holdings (HILS) 1,092.00p -2.93%
Intu Properties (INTU) 168.70p -2.91%
TP ICAP (TCAP) 282.20p -2.76%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 111.55p -2.75%
Polymetal International (POLY) 651.60p -2.72%
Investec (INVP) 525.00p -2.38%