I'm probably not the only one to require a snifter or two of late. Look at poor old Fairbriar. Last week – unlike certain tyrannical former dictators I could mention (that's international relations covered for the week) – the housebuilder bit the bullet. It told the stock exchange that its share price was unacceptable given the value of its work in progress. Disgusted, the board has launched a "review of all options", presumably including a management buyout and a trade sale, to maximise shareholder value. This vent of anger has actually had the somewhat perverse effect of improving its share position – last week it was up 11.1% to 45p.
A cheerier fellow must be Jock Green-Armytage. It was announced last week that dear old Jock is to replace Sydney Gillibrand as Amec chairman from the 21 January. They seem to be quite a chirpy lot down there. Chief executive Sir Peter Mason said that although Gillibrand "will be much missed both personally and professionally", there was also "no better man for the job" than Green-Armytage. The chaps and chapettes in the City, however, played it cautiously and lowered Amec's share price 0.9% to 264.25p.
Wimpey said this week that margins and sales prices are up. Expect a good few months of trading
Hunch of the week
Indeed, my Square Mile chums seem like real Scrooges some times. Jarvis must feel particularly aggrieved at the lack of Christmas spirit. Last week its share price fell heavily yet again, this time down 6.5% to just 188p, barely 4p above its year-low and less than half its year-high. Jarvis' recent fall from grace seemed to have started with the departure of its chairman and former chief executive Paris Moayedi at the end of last month. At the time its share price was more than half a quid better off at about 240p.