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Royal Mail hit by price cap warning

Royal MailFri close: Royal Mail’s shares suffered a jolt as regulator Ofcom suggested imposing a cap on prices on the business.

The watchdog proposed in a discussion paper that it could reduce some of the commercial flexibility it granted the Royal Mail in 2012 to avoid hurting competition.

Royal Mail’s performance has been improving since its privatisation in 2013, with demand for parcel deliveries rising. The group floated at 330p per share. They closed down 3.5% or 18.5p at 508.5p.

Shares in Fulcrum climbed more than 5% after the utility services provider won a £3.95m gas project in Scotland.

The project involves installing a 13km pipeline to link Scotland’s main gas network to four major Scottish distilleries, the group said in a statement.

The contract will be funded by a partnership of three companies Chivas Brothers, Diageo and Ian MacLeod Distillers, and starts in August.

Fulcrum chief executive Martin Donnachie said the distilleries would further strengthen gas infrastructure and achieve long term environmental efficiencies. Fulcrum shares closed up 5.24% at 18.94p.

Online gambling company 888 Holdings is buying Bwin.party Digital Entertainment in a cash and stock deal worth around £898.3m, beating a rival offer from GVC. Bwin shareholders will receive 39.45p and 0.404 new 888 shares for each share they own. The offer represents a value of around 104.9p per Bwin share, which is a premium of approximately 16.4% cent to the closing price of Bwin on 14 May, which is the last business day before Bwin announced talks about a possible tie-up.

Sports Direct rebounded from Thursday’s losses, which came as the retailer fell short of revenue expectations and lowered its adjusted core earnings for 2015/2016.

Marks & Spencer dipped as it revealed that John Dixon, the executive director of its general merchandise division,will step down from the board with immediate effect.

British Airways owner IAG was among the biggest risers as it moved closer to clinching a takeover of Aer Lingus after receiving the US regulator’s go-ahead and the Irish carrier’s shareholders backed special resolutions linked to the deal.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed down 21.37 at 6775.08 pts.

 

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