How construction fared in the City this week
Gamblers are prone to saying: "You roll the dice and take your chances." Unfortunately for John McCarthy, his latest bet has turned out to be his last at the company he co-founded. McCarthy resigned as non-executive chairman and board member of the retirement homes specialist McCarthy & Stone, last Friday, nearly five months before his contract was due to end.

This followed an failed takeover bid by the McCarthy family earlier this summer. The main board swatted away the offer, which it felt undervalued the group. Building predicted McCarthy's early retirement (27 June, page 21).

After the announcement of McCarthy's departure on Friday, shares in McCarthy & Stone fell 0.5p to 471p, which is where they started the week.

Barclays Bank made a better punt last week. It agreed to extend the deadline for a loan repayment to multidisciplinary consultant High-Point Rendel. The deadline now expires at the end of next month rather than on 31 July. This buys the firm time to recover an estimated £5m in fees, owed largely by clients in the Middle and Far East.

The Barclays gamble appears to be paying off; the share price rose 5.3% last week to 5p.