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Market Watch


BERKELEY dipped last week as the house building giant faced up to a possible revolt by shareholders over a £1.2 million payment to its managing director, Tony Pidgley.

The National Association of Pension Funds is recommending its members vote against proposals to retrospectively include Mr Pidgley, who founded Berkeley more than 30 years ago, in a long-term incentive plan.

The company plans to meet shareholders to head off any rebellion before the issue is put to Berkeley's annual general meeting on August 22 but jitters at the end of last week left the stock off 5.5 per cent.

With little newsflow, most of the trading involved jockeying for position ahead of the impending results season.

Aggreko was among the losers despite more than 15 million shares in the specialist plant hirer changing hands.

With the firm's interim results due out on August 27, there were more nervous sellers than eager buyers and this left the shares down 5.4 per cent.

Shares in High-Point Rendel rose as the ailing consultant secured another extension to a £2.9 million loan, which was due for repayment on July 31.

The firm is owed money from long-term overseas jobs and must settle the debt by September 30 or earlier if the payments eventually turn up.

Elsewhere, Hanson rose to 378p as investment bank ABN Amro set a new target for the materials giant's stock of 413p.