MARKET REPORT: Online Blockchain talk of City as it appoints ‘father of emails’ to the board

Mark Shapland
Online Blockchain unveiled William Louden as a non-executive director: Pixabay

When it comes to being noticed in the City, Online Blockchain clearly has what it takes.

The technology investor raised eyebrows last October when it rebranded from On-Line Plc at the start of the cryptocurrency craze.

Today it caused a stir when it announced the appointment to the board of the man who apparently coined the term “email” 30 years ago.

AIM-listed Online Blockchain unveiled William Louden as a non-executive director, stating that “from the Eighties, Mr Louden designed and created many social media platforms, community forums, the first consumer electronic mail product… coining the terms ‘forums’ and ‘email’.”

The claim by the firm should not be underestimated given that the wonks who put together the Oxford English Dictionary have been trying to find the origin of the word “email” for more than five years.

Louden has certainly had a colourful career, previously holding a top digital position at GE as well as leading start-up operations for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Investors cheered the appointment and shares rocketed 12.5p higher to 97.5p.

It was a busy session in the digital space with property-listing website Rightmove posting a 10% rise in profits despite a more subdued UK housing market. The firm also declared a final dividend of 36p per share, up 14%. Rightmove said: “We believe the outlook for the UK online property advertising market remains positive, despite the continuing uncertainties stemming from the result of the EU referendum.” Shares pushed 66p higher to 4376p.

Rival OnTheMarket confirmed a five-year agreement with estate agency Chancellors Estates. Chancellors operates more than 50 branches in southern England and Wales and shares in OnTheMarket were up 1.9p to 168.4p.

Also moving on the small-cap market was Stanley Gibbons after fund manager Phoenix announced it will take over the troubled stamp business through a £6.2 million share subscription. Gibbons has been through the mill but today its shares rose 0.5p to 5.3p.

On the main market the FTSE 100 was off 12.50 points at 7239.72, with Royal Bank of Scotland and International Consolidated Airlines Group leading the index lower, off 12p at 270p and down 28.2p at 594.4p respectively.

Shares in insurer Aviva were also falling after it said it would sell its remaining Spanish businesses Cajamurcia Vida and Caja Granada Vida to Spain’s state-owned lender Bankia for $248.1 million (£177.6 million).

Aviva boss Mark Wilson said: “The sale means that over the past five years we have generated proceeds of £1.3 billion from selling almost all of our Spanish operations.” But investors appeared less than impressed and shares fell 1.2p to 503p.