Share indices in the week to 18 April 2002
Construction's so-called "big three" flexed their muscles this week.

Amec, Carillion and Balfour Beatty all enjoyed surges in their share prices on the back of major contract wins which show just how diversified the giants have become.

An Amec joint venture has won a seven-year, £750m contract to provide support services for oil giant Shell in the North Sea. Carillion was buoyed by news that it had agreed contracts with Railtrack worth £250m over the next five years, and a Balfour Beatty consortium has won a £700m contract to build a 90-mile toll road in Texas.

In fact, April is proving to be very good for the trio, with all their share prices steadily improving after March's Amey-induced scare hit PFI contractors' valuations. Carillion and Balfour Beatty have both recently reached their highest points in a year at 223p and 278p respectively, and Amec is at 460p.

Another reason for the good times is the government's continued love affair with all things PFI, which it hopes will improve public services and thus guarantee re-election. The government's push to get more projects going should result in more work coming through this year. Investors, for their part, like the guaranteed income this should mean for the likes of Amec et al.