Share indices in the week to 14 September 2001
The sale of Laing's construction arm to subcontractor O'Rourke cannot come soon enough, as far as the contractors' tumbling share price is concerned.

Laing's share price peaked at 570p in March this year as hopes were raised that Laing could quickly get rid of its money-leaking business.

But investors have steered clear of the stock as the sale, first due in early summer, has dragged on into autumn. This has seen the price dip to 260p earlier this week after dropping 10% last week.

Now, positive noises are coming from the Laing camp that the sale will finally be completed next Thursday. But this may not be enough to immediately halt the slide.

As an analyst summed up this week: "What's the hold up? What can be taking so long? The more it lingers, the more doubts there are and uncertainty is no good for any share price. Even a sale now won't ease some people's concerns."

The market overall was in poor shape as a result of the terrorist attacks in the USA. The vast majority of construction shares took a pasting last week.

Among the worst affected contractors were ROK (down 9.4%), Montpellier (down14.5%) and Morgan Sindall (down 5%).