Share indices in the week to 22 March 2002
Amey chief executive Brian Staples had better watch his back if he meets his counterparts at other PFI contractors over the next few weeks.

Staples is public–private partnership enemy number one after his firm suddenly changed the way it accounted for its bid costs on PFI projects. This slashed millions off its profit and caused the group's share price to plummet 25% as the City took fright.

But it wasn't only Amey that got hammered last week. Carillion, Jarvis, Amec, Balfour Beatty, Mowlem and Kier all had their share prices hit as investors tarred them with the same brush.

"It's what the Americans call collateral damage," one analyst explained. "Amey's problems haven't got anything to do with PFI but others involved in PFI who are doing it properly still got hurt.

They are pissed off right now, and fair enough, too."