The London Stock Exchange plans to halt trading in Russian aluminium and power producer EN+ as a result of US sanctions.
In a statement, the LSE said it would suspend EN+’s global depository receipts – which allow UK investors to hold its shares – from 5.15pm on May 2.
The firm, controlled by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, has been hit by sanctions imposed by the US last month on companies with close ties to the Kremlin.
The sanctions mean firms such as EN+ will no longer be allowed to trade in US dollars from Monday, making it impossible to access international stock markets.
Russian tensions: The LSE said it would suspend EN+’s global depository receipts – which allow UK investors to hold its shares – from 5.15pm on May 2
EN+ and its chairman, former UK energy minister Lord Barker, have appealed to the US Office of Foreign Assets and Control to extend the May 7 deadline so it can end Deripaska’s control of the firm.
Deripaska, who was targeted personally on the US sanctions list, last week agreed to shrink his stake in EN+ from 70 per cent to less than 50 per cent in a last ditch attempt to avoid the sanctions.
But it has seemingly run out of time with the LSE confirming its shares will be suspended on the London market from today to comply with the US’s May 7 deadline.
In a statement, the exchange said it ‘will continue to monitor the situation and is in communication with the UK authorities’.
The FTSE 100 notched up 0.15 per cent, or 11.06 points, to 7520.36, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.31 per cent, or 63.27 points, at 20,348.32.
Stock Watch – Pipehawk
A series of contract wins sent shares in electronic systems developer Pipehawk into overdrive.
The AIM-listed firm said it had received a number of ‘significant’ orders for its QM Systems division, which provides automation engineering services to the automotive, rail and aerospace industries, among others.
In total, QM has received £1.9million-worth of orders in the first half of the year.
Shares rocketed 98.4 per cent, or 3.05p, to 6.15p.
FTSE 100-listed National Grid, which controls the UK’s gas and electricity supplies, has sold its remaining 25 per cent stake in the country’s biggest gas distribution business, Cadent Gas, to Quadgas Investments Bidco for £1.2billion.
Shares edged up 0.4 per cent, or 3.2p, to 846p. On the FTSE 250, analysts at Peel Hunt gave their backing to online supermarket Ocado in the wake of Sainsbury’s touted £12billion merger with Asda.
Increasing Ocado’s target price from 570p to 610p, Peel Hunt said: ‘The 10 per cent price cut on popular products announced by Sainsbury’s post-completion, while positive for customers, will further intensify competition and increase the loss-making potential of online offerings further, pushing the new top three to focus on securing their traditional offline models. Ocado should take advantage of this distraction.’
Ocado shares popped 3.2 per cent, or 17p, to 555.4p.
In the small caps, Bloomsbury, the publisher of the Harry Potter books, snapped up London-based academic publisher IB Tauris & Co for £5.8million.
Tauris has a back catalogue of 4,000 titles and puts out around 200 publications annually. Bloomsbury shares fell, however, by 0.3 per cent, or 0.5p, to 176.5p.
On AIM, struggling double glazing manufacturer Safestyle has parachuted in a turnaround specialist to improve its fortunes following last week’s profit warning.
Former First Milk boss Mike Gallacher, 52, has taken over as chief executive and will be tasked with wrestling back market share from aggressive new entrant Safeglaze. Shares floated 6pc, or 3.4p, higher to 59.2p.
Cora Gold shone after the miner discovered high-grade deposits of the yellow metal at two sites in Mali. Jonathan Forster, chief executive, said: ‘These are exciting new gold discoveries and hold great promise for further development.’ Shares in Cora jumped 25.5 per cent, or 3p, to 14.75p.
Software firm Imaginatik slumped after it warned it may need more cash to progress the formal sale of the company. Shares dipped 12 per cent, or 0.15p, to 1.1p.
Shares in Mortice, a security and facilities management firm, soared 18.6 per cent, or 4p, to 25.5p after it bought the remaining 49 per cent of its Singapore-based subsidiary Frontline Security for £1.9million.