888.com to be included in the FTSE 250

profile image of bmr

Shares of the world\’s largest online casino have risen 35% over the past three weeks and now 888.com might be included in the FTSE 250 index, the LSE second most important index, after the FTSE 100.

On the contrary, William Hill have been relegated to the mid cap index from the FTSE 100. Under FTSE indices\’ rules, a FTSE 100 company is automatically demoted if its share price falls sharply enough to place it outside the top 110 stocks.

Elsewhere, Gaming VC announced further increases in new customer registrations and a stronger revenue performance in October and November, underlining the effectiveness of the strategic marketing programme. The company also confirmed it will deliver the dividend promised at the IPO.

Following on yesterday\’s upbeat trading statement from PartyGaming, Morgan Stanley repeated its \’overweight\’ recommendation and hiked its target price to 150p from 130p. Deutsche Bank also repeated its \’buy\’ recommendation and hiked its target to 160p from 155p, claiming that the benefits of moving towards a multi-product platform with a shared purse will continue to filter through in 2006.

Rank Group, the owner of Blue Square, had its long-term credit rating downgraded by Moody’s Investor Services following uncertainty over the sale of its Deluxe subsidiary. The downgrade came after Rank had announced in a trading statement that “steady progress” had been made on finding a buyer but that no exclusive bidders had been found.

Paul Leyland, analyst at Seymour Pierce, said: “Given the indifferent trading and lack of news flow on Deluxe, we see little upside for the existing group.”