Countrywide shares plunged just over 10% at one stage yesterday as the markets tried to dissect what has happened with the deal to sell its commercial arm Lambert Smith Hampton.
The sale, to a private buyer John Bengt Moeller based in Monaco, was due to complete at the end of last year. But this week, Countrywide announced that it has not yet gone through.
Analysts are now asking whether the deal – key to reducing Countrywide’s debt and allowing it to concentrate on its core residential business – will now go through at all. Countrywide is saying that there is merely a delay.
Countrywide shares closed at 310p, about 8% or 26p down over the day.
Another loser on the London stock market yesterday was Foxtons, whose shares fell 4.5% to finish at 86.5p.
By contrast, shares in LSL closed at a three-year high at 320p, going up over 3% during the course of the day.