The biggest City casualty in the Office of Fair Trading fine fallout was Kier, whose shares slipped 2.5%, a fall some in the Square Mile attributed partly to Kier’s refusal to rule out an appeal – it seems analysts would rather now draw a line under the whole thing

Andy Brown, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said: “Companies will book their fines as a non re-occurring exceptional item and the OFT has said the fines shouldn’t prejudice companies going forward. Case closed.”

Interserve fell 1.8%, but Galliford Try was only off 0.7%, while Balfour Beatty slipped just 0.5%. Robin Hardy, of KBC Peel Hunt, said: “The lack of share movement is a sigh of relief that this is over now and no longer hanging over the sector. For the most part, all this has already been factored into valuations, but the fact that the fines are relatively low has also helped.”  

Even the prospect of future legal action by disgruntled councils failed to push the City into anything resembling a selling frenzy. Kevin Cammack, an analyst at Cenkos Securities, said: “Local authorities are tight for cash so it’s a possibility. But the City doesn’t believe there will be a widespread litigation process in the wake of all this.”